• Morgan Fagg

Athlone Community Radio Update

I just want to start this interview by saying that there is an Ice Rink ten kilometres away from me that is being used as a morgue.

The figures are bad here in Spain and yesterday we had over 8,000 new cases despite being on Lockdown for over two weeks. In America there were 17,000 new cases yesterday.

I need people to realise, we are on full Lockdown and have been for weeks.

Yet the cases keep increasing.

Social distancing is essential, I understand that but I don’t believe it is the solution.

We are buying time to find cures and remedies and ways to fight the virus but this virus has been on the news for 4 months now and people are still acting surprised that events have to be cancelled and large gatherings stopped.

As I said, I am on Lockdown, under house arrest for weeks and yet the numbers are rising dramatically. Only 3 weeks ago, it felt like Spain wasn’t taking this seriously at all.

I was complaining that Public Transport wasn’t been disinfected 20 days ago and friends thought I was overacting when I said I was wearing disposable gloves on the Metro and wearing a scarf across my face.

Today everyone is wearing gloves and masks and we have been on lockdown for weeks.

A Spanish friend was looking for advice on how to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and I told her to do it at home. A gathering of drunk people in a small venue was a bad idea. Again she thought that I was crazy to suggest that but in the end, Saint Patrick’s Day was cancelled in Ireland.

The UK did not cancel their events and I am sure Prince Charles is kicking himself for attending Cheltenham on Friday the 13th and today I have heard reports the Boris Johnson has tested positive too.

This is not ok and Ireland needs to get ahead of this. This is not the common cold. The common cold doesn’t kill doctors and nurses and destroy economies. This is serious.

The Irish Taoiseach should have cancelled his trip to the Whitehouse and not been photographed shaking hands with a man who had just banned travel from European countries.

The optics of such gestures is just awful and people need to stop worrying about tradition and business-as-usual and we need to stop following people who are putting out the wrong message.

By Saint Patrick’s Day, the Taoiseach had the right message for people and Ireland had cancelled events but it is not enough.

There were over 8,000 cases in Spain yesterday and we have been on full Lockdown.

Things are bad and I can’t understand all the debate on cancelling the Olympics. Just Do It.

I can’t imagine there are many ice-skaters in Madrid practicing in a make-shift morgue.

These are exceptional times and there is no reason why people are still taking stupid risks.

Children coughing on people might actually be spreading Coronavirus but they don’t realise it and I can’t believe how badly prepared we have been for this crisis that we have known about since the end of 2019 even if the World Health Organisation didn’t call it a pandemic until mid March.

This is my third radio interview talking about the pandemic in Spain since then.

A friend contacted me after my last radio interview and said that he was told by his doctor to go into self-isolation.

He went into self-isolation and stopped working and distanced himself from his children and parents and wife but after 2 full weeks, he has not been tested and WILL NOT BE TESTED.

He has now been told that he can return to work. What the hell?

We need people tested and we need to know how bad this really is.

Failure to test and failure to report each case is no good and I’m sure others would agree with me on that.

My friend told me that because he hasn’t been in contact with an infected person, he is not at risk but how do we know that he isn’t infected and that he hasn’t been in contact with an infected person when people aren’t been tested? That is an absolute joke.

Here in Spain, it has been reported that about 9,000 tests were conducted but that Spanish authorities bought tests from an unlicensed company and those tests can’t be used.

In England, they are being told to wash their hands by someone who can’t brush his hair.

We need better leadership on this and Boris Johnson will have to defend his Herd Immunity now that he has followed the herd too. We are not animals but the joke in Spain is that we care mor about dogs than people because people are allowed to walk their dogs and nothing else. Pharmacies are open as are supermarkets but we are on full Lockdown and if Ireland refuses to try a full Lockdown than the Irish will have to take it upon themselves and retreat in off the streets.

Boil the kettle and put on the tv. It’s not the worst thing to have to do and I am reminded of the parable of the drowning man where a religious man knows that a flood is coming but refuses to to anything as “God will save him.”

The water rises and neighbour offers him help but he refuses, the water rises further and rescue boat comes to collect him but he refuses because he believes God will save him.

A Coastguard helicopter arrives and he refuses to leave the roof of his flooded house and he drowns. In heaven he asks God why didn’t he save him and God replies, I sent a boat and a helicopter.

This virus was first reported in 2019. We need to keep above water here and act accordingly.

A month-long Lockdown will end on the 11th of April which is my birthday but I won't be celebrating, I'll stay in and keep my distance, until we are clear of this.

Stay safe everyone

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