The approach to containing the spread of COVID-19 has been fairly consistent between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, from school closures to non essential shops being asked to temporarily shut their doors, including gyms and community centres.
Yet while the Republic was quicker to close the schools, Northern Ireland took the lead in shutting down self-build sites. Albeit amidst some confusion. Up until last Friday hardware stores in the Republic were one of the 14 business types that were allowed to remain open alongside banks, supermarkets, petrol stations and dry cleaners. But now, non essential businesses are all in lockdown.
A quick look on Instagram indicates that on the 25th of March self-builds in the North were grinding to a halt while self-build sites in the Republic were still doing their best to abide to social distancing rules at this time.
By the 30th of March DIY jobs like gardening and painting became much more common to see in both jurisdictions.
Hashtags on Instagram to celebrate self-builders’ achievements to date include the No Progress Progress Pics and No Progress Progress Challenge. These posts consist of a collage of how far self-builds have come – from start to covid.
Living with COVID-19 restrictions on site is self-builder Bobby Fitzpatrick who is in the process of extending his family home in County Offaly. When I spoke to him at a safe distance on Skype on Monday, he told me that he was self isolating even though tradesmen have been contacting him to get work done on his family home.
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Main image courtesy of Bobby Fitzpatrick