We need to be the calm second chicken
When anxious we need to find something to do to ease that while adhering to health recommendations and social distancing. Irish Country Living will keep telling positive stories. Amii McKeever writes

Have you ever seen the movie Men in Black? I have a favourite line from it when the character Agent K is telling the soon-to-be Agent J that aliens live amongst us humans on the planet. J believing that “people are smart and can handle it”, queries the older and more experienced agent as to why this is kept as such a big secret? K responds: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals.”

This is herd mentality and although I am not taking away from people’s concerns and fears, the experts tell us this is not helpful

It is true that panic is a natural reaction in the face of the unknown. This is herd mentality and although I am not taking away from people’s concerns and fears, the experts tell us this is not helpful.

On The Late Late Show last Friday night, clinical psychologist David Coleman spoke, as part of a panel speaking to an empty studio, about why being the “calm second chicken” is important. He was speaking specifically about how to avoid scaring children. This, he said, starts with the parents, because when we have our own anxieties we transfer them to those around us (our own little herd or the wider public herd). He gave the anecdote as to how if you scare a chicken, it will go into tonic immobilisation, unable to move. If a second chicken happens along, sees the first one, it panics and that chicken is also frozen. However, if the second chicken stays calm and stays pecking around, the first chicken will unfreeze. People, like chickens, cross reference each other.

I was sent a lot of messages over the weekend – as I am sure many of you were – mostly well-meaning and all from “verified” sources

I appreciate that writing that down is much easier than actually doing it, particularly with such a huge amount of negative information circulating across media channels. Much of this information is important to help inform us on how best to protect our health and that of those around us? I was sent a lot of messages over the weekend – as I am sure many of you were – mostly well-meaning and all from “verified” sources. I looked at one in particular as it was of direct interest to me, only to be inundated five minutes later with completely conflicting information. All I am going to say is; please get your information from reputable sources, such as the HSE.

We in Irish Country Living aim to be one of those reputable sources and will keep you informed of the impacts of COVID-19.This week, Lorcan Allen writes about the potential impact of the pandemic on pensions.

When we are anxious, we need to find things to ease this anxiety while still adhering to health recommendations and social distancing

With people now more confined to home, we asked Neven to focus on some staples over the coming weeks with recipes that are good for batch cooking and freezing. And Odile Evans has some hints and tips for keeping kids and young adults on an educational schedule while at home. When we are anxious, we need to find things to ease this anxiety while still adhering to health recommendations and social distancing. For some this will be the garden and getting outside is, thankfully, on the advised to-do list. So I am delighted that this week we also bring you our annual Groundcare feature.

If you, your community, or local club are involved with an initiative that might be an inspiration for other areas of the country, please get in touch with any member of our team

When the herd continues running towards the cliff, the one running in the opposite direction may seem a little crazy. However, we are conscious of COVID-19 overload so we will continue to bring you the best and most positive stories from our rural communities. And there are many. If you, your community, or local club are involved with an initiative that might be an inspiration for other areas of the country, please get in touch with any member of our team. We all need to get those positive messages out there.

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