“I Remember When Level 5 Was First Introduced”: We Hear From Ireland’s Covid Teenagers


AS LEVEL 5 restrictions in Ireland are extended to at least March the 5th, WWN interviews so-called Quaranteens; those people whose care free teenage years were interrupted by Covid-19 lockdowns that seem to have no end in sight.

“Tik Tok was big then or was is called Tok Tik? My memory is getting awful bad so it is but this was definitely all before Facebook grew a military and began the Great Unfriending Wars,” explained Emily O’Leary, a teenager when Level 5 restrictions were first introduced.

“Remember it like it was yesterday. Then they cancelled the Leaving Cert of course – they changed the system then after that; you got some All for One vouchers or a discount on Boohoo or ASOS instead of points and a promise of a free flight to emigrate to Australia once Level 5 was lifted but sure, that didn’t happen,” added Jack Kelly.

“What was the Minister for Education’s name, your one who said schools were basically giant Covid-19 vaccines? Aw, I’m not good with names and faces anymore,” added Kelly, “anyway after she tried reopening schools for the 18th time and force SNAs back into school at gunpoint we sort of knew Level 5 wasn’t going anywhere”.

“No one saw Level 5 lasting this long but then the government went in and edited the Wikipedia entry on ‘Ireland Level 5 2020-2097’ to say they did everything right but my memory isn’t that bad even with the dementia,” shared Gavin McCormack.

“You got used to it I suppose. Look it, we had to have our Debs on Zoom, but sure now when I look at my own grandkids in Level 5 – they love doing their Debs via Zoom’s new hologram party feature. It’s nearly as good as leaving the house,” offered once-a-teen Lauren Carmody.

“It might sound silly now, but I look back with a bit of fondness for those early Level 5 days, sneaking a few metres passed your 5km limit, can’t do that now with the army snipers on every corner. Simpler times then,” added Carmody.