/Belfast Coronavirus survivor urges people to stay home this Bank Holiday weekend

Belfast Coronavirus survivor urges people to stay home this Bank Holiday weekend

A Belfast solicitor who battled and defeated Coronavirus has backed a ‘Fight Back’ campaign urging people to stay home this Bank Holiday weekend.

Niall Murphy, a partner at KRW Law, spent 16 days in an induced coma at Antrim Area Hospital.

The 43-year-old dad-of-three has now spoken out to urge people not to be tempted to break restrictions.

In the powerful video message, backing the Health Minister Robin’s May Day alert this week warning people to maintain social distancing throughout the Bank Holiday weekend Niall said: “With great weather comes temptation, people might want to go to Portrush or Portsalon but I would encourage everybody to resist the temptation and keep staying at home, keep abiding by these restrictions.

“I speak from personal experience unfortunately, I was recently discharged from Antrim Area Hospital after 26 days with the Coronavirus, 16 of those I spent in the intensive care unit and an extended period in a coma.

“It’s the most dangerous, aggressive experience of my life but I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. This virus as we all know is a killer. It’s taken too many lives, too many young lives, too soon, too early.”

Niall Murphy

Urging people to continue with the restrictions for the sake of their families and friends, he added a stark warning about the virus.

“I’m 43, would have been relatively healthy beforehand, it’s not just a simple flu for the elderly. We can’t jeopardize the lives of friends, our children, our parents and our grandparents but crucially we cannot jeopardize the lives of our healthcare workers who are putting their own lives at risk to save our lives.

“Please, please continue to abide by the restrictions, continue to stay at home, the price is too high. We’ve come this far, we need to keep going.”

A Twitter snap survey shows the majority of people across Northern Ireland are happy to stick to the stay-at-home rules for “as long as it takes”.

The survey conducted by the Fight Back safety campaign (@fightbackni on Twitter) shows that when asked: “Six weeks into lockdown – how much longer can you tolerate it?”, 65% of respondents said they would maintain strict stay-at-home measures “for as long as it takes”, a quarter said they could hold out for another month or so while 10% said they “can’t take it any more.”

The survey also sought people’s opinions on whether or not restaurants and cafes should reopen. Mounting pressure is growing on the sector which employs an estimated 45,000 across the north. The Irish government released a draft road plan this week showing cafes and restaurants were included in a phased reopening of businesses in phase 3. This could effectively see limited reopening of cafes and restaurants from the end of June.

Asked if they would feel safe going to a restaurant which was taking in fewer guests for social distancing reasons, the Fight Back survey shows a split in the nation. Less than half (38.9%) of the northern population would be confident that they would be safe while a third said they would wait and see. Twenty eight per cent of potential restaurant goers said they would not feel safe.

Family finances are a cause for concern among Northern Ireland people. When asked: “Is the loss of earnings during the lockdown a major consideration for you?” 59% said they could sustain the position for now but not indefinitely. A fifth of the population says it is worried about bills and 21% say they will be fine as long as furloughing and other government support continues.

Alcohol consumption across the north shows interesting changes of habits. People are drinking more, with 47% saying their alcohol intake was up. Only 23% of people said their drinking habits were unchanged by the lockdown.

A spokesperson for the Fightback NI campaign said: “The survey shows that local people are prepared to stay the course and put up with the lockdown restrictions as long as is deemed necessary. In the midst of other concerns around finances and venturing into restaurants, people in Northern Ireland are selfless and will take what actions are required to save lives.

“For now, and in advance of the long weekend ahead, that means staying at home, resisting the urge to go outdoors when it is not necessary and seeing through the battle against Covid-19. Our collective actions have worked to date, this is not the time to ease off.”

Original Source