By Jimmy Rhatigan
MANY OF us are eating more grub than ever.
Our invisible enemy Coronavirus has seen us promise to shop local when restrictions are lifted and a majority of us have had no choice but to shelve any holidays this year, a KCLR survey tells us.
Our pockets and wallets are lighter than they have been for some time mainly due to pay cuts we could aptly describe as survival kits for battered businesses.
The survey by thelocal radio station has thrown up what could be the meat on the bones on any book on Cocooning and Keeping our distance.
Not forgetting washing our hands of as much nonsense as we can.
Were a new local newspaper to be born post Corona it would surely be worthy of the title of The Lockdown Times.
It could provide a likely city derby match for the Kilkenny Observer.
But had a KCLR survey asked our people about news hounds or inhabitants of any wacky wonderland, the notion is that a majority of observers and devoted readers would have given our local Orb the nod to roll to victory.
Less of the verbiage.
A queue of 508 took part in a KCLR online survey titled Living in Carlow and Kilkenny during Covid-19.
It was carried out from May 11 to 17 and offers a snapshot into overall wellness and attitudes, consumer spending and business activity.
General Manager of KCLR Pat Gardiner described the findings as an important body of information, a localised snapshot of how people are thinking and feeling.”
A total of 224 said business restrictions had impacted them and their jobs, while 179 uttered the opposite.
Other respondents noted that they were retired or unemployed.
Wage packets of 28% or just over a quarter had been hit, with 38% experiencing a reduction of 40% or more.
Some 67%, now the numbers are getting serious, admitted that the pandemic had resulted in splashing more cash on groceries and more than likely its shopping brothers and sisters, veggies, fruits and, for a time there was a flush on toilet rolls.
Important family life
Some 46%, nigh half of the respondents, said the lockdown was bearable, 19% said difficult and 6% very difficult.
To 17% it was a positive experience and 12% said refreshing.
There were those who accepted social distancing and lockdown restrictions, Mr Gardiner told The Kilkenny Observer.
Family life was the most impacted area (51%), social life (32%), financial (10%) and heath (7%).
Over half of respondents believed that health and fitness were more important now.
Life after Covid restrictions are lifted will see half going back to cinemas and nights out.
But, 35% admitted they were less likely to visit pubs/nightclubs and 7% said they will increase their visits.
A cracking 74% were keen to resume normal attendance at health and beauty spas and salons, while 17% wanted to attend more, and 9% to attend less.
On online shopping after Covid restrictions are lifted, will seec37% shop less and 10% plan to increase their spend.
A welcome fillip for city and county business is that 66% intend to shop local once restrictions are lifted.
The survey reveals that second-hand cars will sell well later this year (35% of respondents) but 3% only are eyeing new cars. Shopping around for insurance quotes will occupy 77% of respondents.
Holiday plans for this year threw up a mixed bag; 33% will stay in Ireland; 12% will go abroad and then comes the whammy for tourism, 56% will not holiday at all.
“There is now a strong mood for supporting local families, voluntary organisations, employees and businesses,” Mr Gardiner said.
Do Kilkenny listeners in particular have a preference for any particular holiday hot spot?
The question wasn’t asked but had it been, we suspect that roving reporter Eimear Ní Bhraonáin would have sung a verse or two of Follow me up to Carlow.