- St. Patrick’s Day celebrations came as authorities in Ireland were ramping up their response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
- Experts and leaders strongly emphasised the practice of social distancing, thereby discouraging revelers in the US and Ireland from packing bars to celebrate.
- To encourage safe and healthy celebrations, Irish broadcaster RTE challenged families to hold their own parades in their homes, backyards, and neighbourhoods to cut down on social gatherings while keeping the festive spirit.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The spread of the novel coronavirus has shuttered offices, schools, and cultural landmarks around the world as authorities have ramped up their responses, warning citizens to stay inside and avoid large groups to prevent spreading infections.
As more than 100,000 cases were identified worldwide and experts and leaders strongly emphasised the practice of social distancing, St. Patrick’s Day provided a tempting distraction as hundreds of people in the US and Ireland ignored officials shutting down of their weekend parades for the holiday by going out and celebrating anyway.
In anticipation of March 17, Irish broadcaster RTE encouraged families to hold their own parades in their homes, backyards, and neighbourhoods to cut down on social gatherings while keeping the festive spirit.
Several parents posted their adorable small-scale festivities online to show how they were making do during the socially distanced holiday.
— Donal O F (@donalof) March 17, 2020
Two leprechaun hats and one tiny dancer brightened up this family’s garden in County Clare, on the country’s west coast.
— Nicola O' Halloran (@nikkioh101) March 17, 2020
Families put their bikes, scooters, and play tractors to use while recreating the festivities in the driveway.
— Aisling McGovern (@aislingmarren) March 17, 2020
One person wrote that these young musicians didn’t want to miss out on their chance to perform because of the cancelled parade, adding in a tweet the Gaelic St. Patrick’s Day wish: “Maith na leaids, Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh!”
My wee cousins in Cork are in a brass band and they can't be in a parade today so my auntie sent us this video ???? Maith na leaids, Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh! ???????? #RTEVirtualParade pic.twitter.com/OZq8KJecYC
— póilín (@poilination) March 17, 2020
RTE even tweeted out a video with a young Irish commentator reviewing the small-scale floats with a crowd of toys and dolls.
— RTÉ (@rte) March 17, 2020
Other videos proved the modified celebrations weren’t just for kids, as adults got in on the dancing, too.
— Kate Sherry (@KateSherry6) March 17, 2020
The holiday came after a weekend that saw some revelers ignoring warnings to stay inside and instead packed Dublin bars to celebrate, despite actions like Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announcing days earlier that all schools, colleges, and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland would shut down and move to online platforms.
Varadkar announced the day before the holiday that the country had 223 identified cases, but expected the number to rise exponentially.
“We would expect that by the end of the month there would be maybe 15,000 people who would have tested positive for COVID-19,” Varadkar said at a news conference. “Most of those will not need treatment, but a proportion will need to be hospitalized and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen at the same time.”
Amid such dire news, it’s heartwarming to see people celebrating the holiday safely.
- Read more:
- 10 Instagram accounts to follow for crafts and activities while schools are closed amid the coronavirus
- 7 online education tools for parents who are homeschooling during the coronavirus outbreak
- A Georgia coronavirus patient says he thought he was dying on Wednesday night. Then he felt God ‘breathe life’ into his lungs.
- Parents are watching kids in shifts and sharing caregivers as schools shut down across the US due to coronavirus fears
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.