Done Cocooning


Elderly man walks in Bray, Co Wicklow last month before the Government called for people aged over 70 to “cocoon”; tweets from Irish marine journalist Tom MacSweeney

This morning.

Kathy Sheridan, in The Irish Times, wrote about people aged over 70 having to “cocoon” which she described as “mandatory confinement”.

She writes:

They have put on their game faces. None of them lacks awareness of the pressing reasons behind the lockdown or is seeking to place blame.

But it is a very odd situation where a supermarket can organise separate, safe shopping hours for people who are older or vulnerable while the incalculable psychological and physical benefits of a short walk outdoors are denied to them.

A designated “walking hour” each day – or even the luxury choice of an hour in the morning or evening – for the over-70s is hardly an insuperable ask.

In fairness.

Kathy Sheridan: Let the over-70s have a walk (The Irish Times)


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23 thoughts on “Done Cocooning

  1. Hansel

    i like the idea and motivation behind giving people dedicated “safe exercise hours” but our changeable weather would mean they wouldn’t always get the best opportunity of the day.

    Also this “Government denying the right….” and “mandatory confinement” of the over-70’s talk is frustrating.
    There is nobody going around mandating that the elderly stay indoors. They’ve the same rights as the rest of us. Cocooning is a recommendation, and a very blunt attempt to save their lives.

    Like vaccinations, we currently allow people to disobey this recommendation.

  2. Brother Barnabas

    an old lad – definitely in his 80s – angrily berated me yesterday evening for cycling in a place he reckoned I shouldn’t have been cycling

    he said i was “breaking the law”

    old people are such hypocrites

  3. george

    if they go out our ICU’s will be overwhelmed. the situation for doctors and nurses is bad enough already.

      1. Hansel

        The recommendation is only based on an effort to keep them alive.
        They’re more at risk of death than the rest of us.
        But they’re no more confined than the rest of us.
        And no more at risk of contracting the virus.
        “Cocooning” is an effort to save their lives rather than a stastical effort to limit the spread.

  4. Fergalito

    I think it’s only fair and reasonable that elderly, otherwise fit and healthy people over 70 should be allowed to get out of the house. Conscientiousness (and fear perhaps for their own health or of twitching curtains) mean that most of those over 70 will adhere to what has been recommended by the Government and health experts. An hour set aside for these members of our society is a good idea. I know my father-in-law would just do a few circuits of his estate if he was “permitted” to do so at a specific time each day. There’s little that can be done about the weather at the best of times though we’re currently – on the east coast – enjoying some ideal conditions to get outside and exercise. Likewise, i know of older people with pets who need to be exercised. Anyone who has had a dog and denies it an opportunity to wee on trees, sniff around in the grass and bark loudly at fellow canines know that this type of activity is very important to our canine pals. Of course there’s nothing stopping local neighbourhood associations and the like taking the initiative and providing, where possible, a chance for the over-70s to stray a little from the confines of their homes.

    1. Hansel

      It’s confusion between the mandatory 2k limit versus the over-70’s cocooning recommendation I think scottser.

      I don’t know whether the confusion is deliberate or through lack of understanding.

      But there’s an awful lot of “civil liberty” type posts on Broadsheet at the moment.

      1. Hansel

        It’s not “mandatory confinement” though Cian, despite what the writer says.
        It’s recommended confinement.

        Advised, not mandated.

        It’s to save them, not us.

  5. Marbe

    I don’t know where you were cycling, but to my knowledge there is no law on the books that says Happy Birthday, you’re 70 so cannot leave your house’ and its a horrible generalisation to say ‘old people are hypocrites’. Isn’t it enough that we stay indoors, do without meeting people, shout to our visiting children at a distance live with just the memory of a cuddle from a grandchild and forgo a little walk with the dog. I feel you are not living up to your name Barnabas ‘son of comfort’. Enjoy your freedom and maybe smile at an old man who has troubles of his own too.

  6. Slightly Bemused

    My dad is the better part of 90 and went for a fairly long walk every day. He is going stir crazy, so at a certain unspecified point he and my step-mom snuck off to Blessington lakes. No-one else there, so he got a good 30 minutes in.
    He is almost pleasant to talk to now, without having to duck for cover when you accidentally say ‘I met so and so at the shop today’

    1. m

      sounds like an idiot,

      there seems to be a civil liberties bent to a lot of the posters

      no one has been forced to do anything,

      they’ve asked everyone to take some personal responsibility and stop the spread of a virus that kills people

      I just don’t understand whats to disagree with,

      and yes I have cabin fever too

  7. A Person

    1. I agree entirely, exercise is so important.
    2.. Why create such fear in older people?
    3. Why do BS still allow voices from the likes of Micheal Smith or Gamma before him). I commented yesterday that he does he still have tours of his penthouse on the Quays.. Didn’t say the address, but why was it edited.?

    1. Bodger

      A.Person, it seemed a little mean and personal (which is not like you) and had nothing to do with what Michael Smith had written. I also don’t think those houses on the quays have penthouses: attics maybe, an eyrie even, but no penthouses.

      1. Matt Pilates

        In fairness Bodger, Smith has written some staggering guff himself while referencing that he lives in that area – like the one where he walks home along the Dublin Liffer boardwalk and has NEVER seen any drug dealing. So, if he declares that his home is a debate point, tough diddies if some commentator draws him on it…

        “Boardwalk hysteria is grossly exaggerated”:

        “I live next to Dublin’s Liffey boardwalk on Ormond Quay. I walk it four times a day. I’ve never felt threatened, never seen a needle, never been assaulted. Nor has anyone else in my family. In seventeen years.”

  8. Matt Pilates

    Why do the over 70’s have to be allowed walk only? Why not skateboard? Do wheelies in wheelchairs. Run a 10km. Cycle a Gran Fondo. Go for a spin on the SoloWheel. Hang gliding.

    Many of these “perennials” are in way better shape than most “millennials”. Go for it, Kathy.

  9. John Smith

    Cocooning (in Ireland) is advisory, not mandatory. Over-70s (and vulnerable individuals) have a choice. They can consider their personal situation and decide whether just to follow the standard lock-down requirements or, voluntarily, to opt for the tighter restrictions of cocooning. There may be points which mean that, in their circumstances, cocooning would actually be MORE of a threat to their well-being than simple lock-down. Over-70s are not putting anyone else at risk, if they choose not to cocoon – cocooning is intended purely for their own protection. In any case, 70 is an arbitrary figure – statistics are not real life! No-one becomes more at risk just because they have a birthday. Be warned, those who are not yet 70, there is a movement among scientists that recommends lowering the age for cocooning to 60 or even 50!!!

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