Yesterday on a College of Global Studies zoom call, a colleague mentioned that good news was almost difficult to absorb these days. He was of course putting this in context with all of the COVID updates we have been exposed to the last year. In Ireland, as we sit at home in Lockdown 3.0, we are watching numbers drop slightly and we are hearing about people we know who have now received their vaccine. However, the mood is still a little gloomy. We have replaced banana bread with coffee cake baking and we are desperately trying to keep going but what my colleague said is true, we too are perhaps, as a community in Ireland and globally, finding it more challenging to take in good news and feel it.
Having read three Sunday papers over the last two days, I have been in awe of the work of our frontline professionals, one of them being my sister but I will admit that I have had a minor dose of Pandemic Fatigue. In keeping with what my colleague said, I decided that I needed to try medicate myself with a spoonful of good news. I googled "Irish News + Good News" and here is what happened. One of the first results I viewed was "Irish Garda lift the Spirits of the nation with dance challenge" . It didn't surprise me to hear about our Police force doing something positive because we have been blessed with their presence at Arcadia University student orientations the last 20+ years. Many students have often described it as one of the highlights of our three day event! Students can't believe that our Gardai in Ireland are unarmed. They do carry batons but will only use them if they really need to. Over the years, the Gardai have told the students that many situations can be resolved quick enough through having a chat.
Back to the good news - this week brought a smile to many faces in Ireland during Lockdown 3.0. Once again the Guards (as we call them) shone like sparkly stars. This is at a time when they are already on the frontline in helping manage the spread of COVID. Following the performance of a socially distanced dance to the song Jerusalema by Master KG by the Swiss Federal Police last month, a similar challenge was presented to An Garda Síochána. The Guards took on the challenge with pride and lifted the spirits of the Irish people around the country. Many were so inspired by it that they made their own versions in care homes, hospitals, in homes with the elderly and with children. It has gone well and truly viral.
"The official Garda video shows a socially-distanced dance routine featuring members and locations spanning the island of Ireland. From beaches, to castles, to rooftops - gardaí made sure to use Ireland’s iconic scenery to their advantage" (Irish Independent)
While for the most part they stuck to the typical dance routine for the challenge, they made sure to give it an Irish twist by throwing in a bit of Irish dancing into the mix. Who doesn't love a bit of Irish dancing, especially when the girl performing the dance was once a Riverdance member before joining the force!
"Alongside the release of the hotly anticipated video, gardaí wrote: “Gardaí across Ireland answered the call to give the public we serve a lift in these challenging times.” (Irish Times)
“Now that An Garda Síochána stepped up to the challenge, the public now have the floor.”
Finally, they gave a call to action to the people of Ireland and around the world to participate and help lift the mood: “So making sure to stay home and in your bubbles. Post your challenge using #GardaJerusalema we want to see what you can do while staying safe.”
Check out the Jerusalema Dance Challenge by Garda Irish Police - YouTube - it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!