Living with the lockdown

Published in Editorial, Issue 4 (July/August 2020), Volume 28

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Welcome to the second issue of the COVID-19 lockdown—although by now restrictions are, thankfully, beginning to be lifted. While it has been ‘business as usual’ for the History Ireland production team, readers will notice certain small changes. We have revamped the front cover, a precursor to a more general redesign in future editions. The magazine is lighter by four pages—mainly as a result of the evaporation of advertising, always the first casualty in an economic recession such as this—but there has been no diminution in the quantity (or quality) of content. While the drop in advertising revenue presents us with certain financial challenges, it is not fatal; History Ireland has always relied, first and foremost, on the support of you, the readers and subscribers, and we look forward to, and appreciate, your continuing support into the future.

Also absent for the second issue running is our ‘Events’ page—for the simple reason that there aren’t any, owing to social distancing restrictions. That is something that we hope to reinstate in future issues as restrictions ease.

Another casualty has been our ‘live’ shows, the History Ireland Hedge Schools, but through the wonders of technology these have now moved on-line and we will be rolling out a packed programme of podcasts over the remainder of the year.

It is still not clear how all this will come to an end, but come to an end it will. Pandemics are nothing new to humanity; in this issue Gillian Allmond (pp 22–5) outlines the course of the cholera pandemic in Belfast in 1832 and concludes:

‘Ultimately the fight against cholera was to lead to a sanitary revolution in towns and cities throughout Britain and Ireland, following greater understanding of cause, prevention and treatment and the realisation that society as a whole would always be vulnerable to illness unless the poorest were free of disease.’

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