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Marie Louise McConville: Covid-19 hasn't gone away you know

I am perplexed by how many people seem to have stopped following the Covid-19 regulations - including wearing face masks when shopping
Marie Louise McConville

Was there a super big announcement I missed?

Did the executive call some kind of emergency meeting and then decide that was it, it's all over?

I only ask because it seems that there are many people among us who feel they no longer need to follow the Covid-19 guidelines.

The only reason I can think for their behaviour is that they think the pandemic is over.

Well, newsflash people, it's not.

When I was doing my grocery shopping at the weekend, I could not believe the number of people coming into the shop without a face mask.

Walking around the aisles, lifting my bits and pieces, I was really taken aback by how many were not wearing masks and seemed to have no issue with standing right up beside me to reach on to the shelves for something.

I was really shocked at the lack of social distancing and the complete disregard they had both for themselves and others.

I thought it was mandatory for face masks to be worn in the shops - I know some people are exempt - but I find it hard to believe that this number of people fall into that category.

This came after the McConvilles had gone out for dinner together for a family celebration.

We chose an eatery not too far away and had pre booked.

On entering the restaurant, there was a massive sign on the door to say contact tracing was in operation and our details would be taken - understandable and to be welcomed.

Through the doors we went and we made our way to a hand sanitiser station where we made repeated attempts to sanitise our hands - to no avail.

Not to worry though as there were two others nearby so we used them - again, to no avail.

I asked a member of staff where we could sanitise our hands only for us to be told that all the machines are broken so there was nowhere to do it.

We took our seats, had our meal and left.

At no point did anyone approach us for contact tracing information so they have no record of who was there and when so goodness knows what would have happened if a positive case did emerge.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Just before the school finished, I noticed some parents had decided to stop wearing masks in the playground for drop off and pick up - as had been requested by the school.

Given the highly transmissible Delta variant and soaring case numbers, now is not the time to relax our guard in Northern Ireland.

Yet we still have people moaning and groaning because they can't go abroad on holiday.

The message is simple - Covid-19 will remain among us until we all play our part.

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Has anyone else been watching a fantastic new TV show called Limetown?

There may only have been a few episodes so far but I am totally hooked.

The show tells the story of Lia Haddock, played by Jessica Biel, a journalist for American Public Radio (APR), who is attempting to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of more than 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee.

The show, which also stars Stanley Tucci, is a rollercoaster of emotions and cliffhangers and is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday nights on Alibi - get watching.

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Normal Irish News Rules Apply

COMPETITION WINNERS

The winners of the Pass the Pigs competition are Teresa Pearson, from Dungannon, Mary Oldenburg, from Larne, and Gerard Duffy, from Plumbridge

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