My grandson Ricky stalled in his track across the kitchen. His eyes darting left and right. You could see the thought process in his head. “Where is she?” It wasn’t Granny he was looking for, only a cow in the kitchen. He was glued to the spot on the floor. I caught his little hand and steered him towards the office; every step a struggle. His big eyes opened wide when he spotted the cow on the computer screen. That he could handle.
He resumed his trot, hands outstretched to his grandad, Tim, who was attending the (online) draft sale of surplus dairy stock on a local dairy farm. I was dropping in and out in the comfort of our own home.
I remember being at an auction once where there were bids coming through the phone
“Tap away lads,” said the auctioneer for Cork Marts Macroom. Who’d have thought that “tap away” would be the phrase for encouraging bids. I remember being at an auction once where there were bids coming through the phone. It provided a certain mysterious quality and anonymity to the bidder.
Now, no buyer is visible and this possibly leads to better business decisions.
It was the first sale I watched during lockdown and the whole operation seemed to run smoothly and efficiently. The sale catalogue could be accessed easily. I don’t think I’ve ever been at a sale where I could see the animal properly, hear the auctioneer clearly and view the previous lactation figures and predicted yields from a comfortable chair.
The team at Cork Marts Macroom have built up considerable expertise over the last year
The bids coming fast and furiously crept up along the screen. All animals were sold, making good money, reflecting the quality of the stock and the health of the dairy industry.
It’s hard to imagine why farmers would actually go back to hauling animals out for draft sales when sales could continue to be carried out in the farmer’s own yard with a lot less stress on the animals. The team at Cork Marts Macroom have built up considerable expertise over the last year. All around the country the marts have stepped up to keep the business of stock moving. The system might just continue.
We’ve stayed healthy
There are things that we have learned from lockdown. We’ve remained very healthy with few colds and a complete absence of flu infections. So, it appears, over the years we’ve been making each other sick with our social practices. Hopefully we will retain the good habits of frequent hand washing and sanitising.
I find the mask hot and cumbersome in school. My facial expression that is so important for our students is absent
The handshake is probably gone. Will we continue to wear masks? We might in certain work places. While necessary at the moment, I find the mask hot and cumbersome in school. My facial expression that is so important for our students is absent. This means that the visual reassurance that some students rely on is absent. As learning is more important, I expect masks to be gone in school next September.
I imagine that masks around hospital settings and appointments should stay in order to prevent the transmission of infection to vulnerable people when travelling to and from hospitals.
Many people, including me, have had a hospital stay with no visits from our families. While this is not ideal, I feel that a considerable reduction in visitor numbers to hospitals would be a sensible outcome. There will be exceptional circumstances but in general, visits should be restricted to immediate family members. We’ve probably learned to respect people’s personal space through social distancing. These are positives we need to bank.
We have learned and practiced serious discipline when shopping. I believe budgeting skills will have improved during lockdown. Most households have a nominated shopper especially where there is a vulnerable person in the family. I know we’ve worked that system. Tim has done the shopping to a list, so we’ve gotten better at the planning.
I’m looking forward to that change; being able to dress up and go places
Shopping to a list is the way to keep control of the household grocery budget. I’ve always used a list but sticking to it is a further discipline.
We’ve bought far less clothes for everyone due to staying home. I’m looking forward to that change; being able to dress up and go places and meet family and friends. We’ve spent a lot less on hair and beauty treatments.
Many people will rethink their spending in this area and find a happy medium. We do need to hold onto the positives from our time staying at home.