Busy high streets, localised traffic jams and packed shops – it feels like we’re really returning to a normality of sorts.
Of course, many things are not the same but through the efforts of people, locally and nationally, the spread of Covid-19 has been curtailed as of right now.
It’s something we all want to see – but local GPs are urging people not to become complacent.
“It’s great to see the local area full of life again, shops opening their doors, children playing outside and friends meeting for a walk. It would be easy to be lulled into thinking that we have reached the end of the pandemic in North Cork,” said Dr Charlie McCarthy of the Park Clinic in Fermoy.
He continued: “But with so much coronavirus in the world, and with the world so connected, it is only realistic to expect that we will see more Covid-19 locally at some point. That will be the case until we have widespread use of an effective vaccine, sadly.”
The good news is that controlling the pandemic is in our hands, quite literally, as Dr Deirdre O’Grady explains: “The hope is that where there are cases, spread is limited if we all maintain hygiene measures and that each positive case is quickly identified by testing.”
She told The Avondhu: “While its hoped the national severe restrictions will not be necessary again it may be that there will be localised restrictions where there is an outbreak until it is under control. We need to remain disciplined about handwashing, social distancing and using face coverings in shops and on buses, whether we are at home or going for a holiday elsewhere over the coming weeks.”
As has been reiterated since we first started to grapple with the pandemic testing is a crucial tool.
Dr Elma Gaffney of Livinghealth Clinic in Mitchelstown explains: “Having the testing and tracing system in place puts us in a very different position to where we would have been in March, but it is only effective if every individual with symptoms comes forward as soon as possible. We need to hear from you if you have a new cough, fever, difficulty breathing, loss or change in taste or sense of smell.”
And local GPs are so keen to underline the point that you should not wait for symptoms to develop or disappear.
Dr Rosemary Beecher from Conna said: “It doesn’t matter if your symptoms are mild, the important thing is to know whether or not you have Covid-19 so that you don’t pass it to others. In relation to Covid-19 the GP phone consultation and testing is free to everyone, whether you have a medical card or not.
“Please never feel you could be wasting our time by contacting us to discuss whether you need testing, we want to hear from you, ideally on the first day of feeling unwell. Testing can now also be arranged through SouthDoc at weekends so do not put off testing until Monday.”
For all the information you need on Covid-19/coronavirus and how to self-isolate then visit HSE.ie
The GP group in Fermoy and Mitchelstown has provided weekly Covid-19 updates in The Avondhu for the past 14-weeks. We are concluding our weekly series but plan to contribute again as the pandemic evolves. Thank you so much to The Avondhu for allowing us to use this important platform. We hope the series has helped.