It's the second day of the second lockdown in Ireland.
I've been very worried and overwhelmed by the Covid-19 development recently, and this is the reason why I haven't posted much on my blogs, and less than usual on social media. My thoughts have been all over the place and I haven't been able to focus on anything. Not even whiskey.
I'm angry, upset and sad over foolish people who don't take the virus seriously. And here we are, in this situation again. People, after 7 months we do have enough knowledge about Covid-19 to act responsibly, to socialise safely, wear masks when we need to and wash our hands. We are all tired of Covid-19, I promise. We all want our lives back. But despite this - or maybe even more because of this, you can still be an adult, take responsibility and do what you can do to stop the spread, because the most important part is what we as individuals do. Do you want life to be as normal as possible? Sure, so do I! Then follow the public health recommendations.
But still, here we are, in lockdown, and I'm pissed off, because this didn't have to happen.
In a strange way, I feel much less stressed now that we're in lockdown. Something is being done to stop the spread and that helps me calm down. To be honest, I've been living as if we were at level 5 for a month - because I'm cautious about the virus. When infection rates increase to a certain level, I stay at home, no matter what the current restrictions are.
Despite my own feelings about lockdown, it's a tragedy for small businesses and their employees, and some of these companies had just recently reopened.
Now more than ever we need to support small businesses. Do your shopping locally. Buy Irish products, buy from Irish companies. Yes, many are closed now but the good news is that many have online shops. Ditch Amazon and buy from the Irish companies directly. They will love to have you as their customer.
You may have seen me chat about exploring American whiskey recently, and I frequently talk about Islay whiskies. But my wallet will only be opened for Irish whiskeys for a while now.
I went into the creative mood again and have created a list of Irish whiskey companies that you can support by buying their products. The majority of them have their own online shops but some do not - to buy their products you can instead go to the larger online shops such as Celtic whiskey shop and Irish malts.
Some brands aren't on the big list (but I put them in a separate category), such as the Midleton brands - Powers, Jameson, Redbreast etc. We all love them, but it's a huge company that will most certainly survive lockdowns. When you want to stock up on these brands, perhaps visit your local Off Licence shop instead? These are also small businesses that need our support. Use them or lose them..
I'm not Irish, so why do I care?
You all know that I'm Swedish and I only live in Ireland since almost two years, so why do I engage in this?
I love Ireland and I have chosen to live here for a reason. I have friends and family back in Sweden but West Cork is my home, and I've felt this way since long before we moved over here.
I want Irish businesses to survive. I want people around us to survive and be well. Since before the pandemic I've been thrilled to see how well small companies thrive here, and with my particular interest in whisk(e)y, of course I've been delighted to see the exciting development of the Irish whiskey industry. All these companies (and all other Irish small businesses) represent people with families who need food on their table. The situation we're in is hard for everyone but let's do what we can to help businesses survive.