One might call Calgary man Conor McNally’s three-hour coronavirus self-isolation ride to his hometown in Ireland a bit of bovine intervention.
McNally was scheduled to leave Calgary for his home in Ireland at the end of April as that’s when his visa was set to expire. He’d been working in the city since April 2018 as a project coordinator for city company called VPS Construction.
Then the coronavirus situation began escalating, sweeping across the world.
His housemate had asked him when he was scheduled to leave and who his carrier was. It happened to be WestJet, through London Gatwick and then on to Dublin.
That’s when he learned that flights were going to be grounded.
“Then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not good. I have to get out of here before that happens,’” McNally told LiveWire Calgary via video interview from his isolation spot near his parent’s home.
He needed to organize his journey home, so he got in contact with his parents in Ireland. They’re aged 68 and 66, and McNally’s mom works with elderly people daily, so he knew that he was going to have to take extra self-isolation precautions to get to the family’s home.
Others had asked if they could pick him up, but he didn’t want to be in too close contact with anyone after travelling.
When McNally arrived in Dublin, his parents were there to greet him. They were towing a cattle trailer behind them.
That’s where he’d spend the next three hours in self isolation.
Camping chair, dance parties and worldwide attention
McNally said the ride home wasn’t too bad. The roads are nice and smooth – only a series of bendy stretches that got a little interesting.
He had a small camping chair to sit in and he spent much of the time talking with friends.
“It was somewhere between three and four hours, but I kept entertained; I was talking to friends on messenger and whatnot,” he said.
McNally shot videos and posted Snapchats and wanted to keep some of the videos. Those made their way into various conversations before starting to spread like wildfire. Within two hours the videos he’d first sent out had started making their way back to him.
It got out that a man was travelling in isolation via cattle trailer from Dublin to Leitrim, the town where his parents live.
Those messages turned into a media explosion – first in Ireland, but then it spread to Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia “and every corner of Ireland and even the UK,” McNally said.
“It’s just amazing how it took off and I just kind of I was kind of glad we took off too, especially here because all the media it’s all doom and gloom about the virus,” he said.
“People are getting a laugh out of this; it’s lifting their spirits.”
McNally is in his second week of isolation – no symptoms – and both of his parents are healthy.