Corona Time: Day 47 and Counting

May 1 2020 Grace Healy 5th Year

It’s been nearly 2 months since the government closed down schools. We’ve been in official lockdown for 31 days. When I first heard about the coronavirus, I didn’t think much of it. In my mind it would only last for a month and then life would be back to normal (boy was I wrong!). Little did I know it would get far more serious. Healthcare workers risk their lives daily to save the sick, the vulnerable and elderly are cocooning and people are losing their jobs, even businesses. The life that we are living at the moment is very surreal and scary, and there is a lot of uncertainty with everything. The coronavirus has affected everyone all over the world. I feel like I’m living the life of a movie character. I still wake up some mornings and think to myself, Is this all real? What panics me most is that no one knows when this will end, and will there ever be an end?

It breaks my heart to see the elderly and vulnerable people in society cocooning. I fear they are not managing well. It’s a lengthy amount of time to be stuck in one place. I know for my papa, who is very sociable, who always has something to do and somewhere to go, it has been hard trying to adjust. He used to play golf every day before COVID-19 decided to rudely destroy the world. To fight the boredom, he has tried out many new things to keep himself occupied. He wrote a poem, learned to play the guitar, learned how to use FaceTime, turned his washing machine into a golf hole (normal? I know) and he’s even thinking of writing a book. He is lucky, though, he at least has the company of my nan. My mom’s mom, my grandma, sadly lives by herself in an apartment. She hasn’t left the apartment in 6 weeks. I FaceTime her every day to say hello and keep her company for a while. We bring her dinners every 3rd day, as my mom’s brothers do the other days. I really, really miss my grandparents. I just want to hug them.

I was watching a YouTuber (as you do) travelling Europe last summer (depressing myself even more because summer is cancelled), and in this particular vlog she was visiting the Sacré Coeur in Paris. There were thousands of tourists gathered, literally on top of each other. It was so strange to see so many people in one place. I had almost forgotten what normal life looked like, that you don’t have to cross the road when you see someone walking towards you or stay two metres apart from them.

I think after this pandemic, people will start to appreciate the little things in life a lot more because they know how fast they can be taken away. The coronavirus has definitely made me realize that I take things for granted. Boy, do I miss seeing my friends. I miss laughing to the point where there’s tears coming down my face. I miss making memories with them. I miss doing the normal things the most. I really miss playing sports. I would spend over half my week with my camogie team. I miss the feeling you get after winning a match. I think routine is what really keeps us going, and when that’s thrown upside down, it can be really mentally challenging to accept and adapt. 

I never in a million years imagined that this is how my 2020 would pan out. I had so many amazing things planned for this year and they’re all now gone now (BAM!), just like that. It was my 18th birthday two weeks ago. Whenever I imagined turning 18, I always envisioned celebrating it with my friends and family. Nonetheless, my family and friends made it very special for me, and I am very grateful for that. My friends organized a Zoom call and we had some great laughs! They even dropped a present all the way over to me. I think I have the best friends, and I’m not biased or anything! It was definitely one to remember…. stuck in my house celebrating by myself :(! I know that people have it much worse off than I do, so I can’t complain. My problems are minor compared to what the doctors, nurses and families whose loved ones have sadly passed away due to this awful virus have to go through. It is disheartening though, when things you looked forward to for so long don’t happen. It angers me when I see people not obeying the restrictions, because the more people break the rules the longer the restrictions will stay in place. I know that our parents would obey every restriction there was if the tables were turned and we were the age category most affected, just to keep us safe. People need to think about their families and not themselves.

My yummy birthday cake!

Initially, before lockdown, I embraced the new set of circumstances. My family and I went to the beach nearly every day, or a walk in the evening. It was an escape from the mass hysteria this deadly disease was causing. I was in my own little bubble. I was loving life. I had time to relax, watch Netflix, do homework whenever I wanted. It was wonderful! However, this all wore off and my opinion began to change as things got more serious. I definitely find it a struggle to motivate myself but I think everyone’s in the same boat. I do love the freedom and flexibility we possess in this ‘new normal’. With so much time on my hands, I’ve spent a lot more of it outside. I’ve begun to appreciate the beautiful scenery around me and be thankful for the space (finally living in the middle of nowhere has its perks). During lockdown I’ve attempted to do exercise everyday as it helps give structure to my day. I definitely need to start social distancing from my kitchen or I’ll be a circle shape when this is all over (thank god for the bit of exercise)! I’ve grown a lot closer to both my siblings, too. Since the world is in slow motion, we now have the time to catch up and have proper conversations. I do think good will come from this, but for now I think all we can do is follow the restrictions and remain hopeful.

Photo from our strolls on the beach