A State of Restricted Isolation

April 20 2020 Phoebe Twomey 2nd Year

I think it’s safe to say that it truly is a weird, unpredictable world we live in! Lockdown, according to the Oxford dictionary means, ‘A state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure’ and the reasons for these restrictions, a word that will go down in history, COVID-19 otherwise known as Coronavirus.

Who woulda’ thought six months ago that this is the position I, my family, friends, teachers, Ireland and even the world would be in right now ! Five and a half weeks ago, when schools were shut and restrictions were placed, I couldn’t explain to you how curious and excited I was to hear that I would spend the next two weeks at home. Imagine that !  No physical school for two whole weeks ! Just me, Netflix, junk food and schoolwork….. let’s just say I put that to the back of my mind for a few moments and focused on my Netflix and junk food while I could. However I wasn’t aware of how tough life would become for so many people, healthcare workers risking their lives to save those who are ill, people losing their jobs everyday, families with loved ones struggling with the virus and people having to deal with lockdown restrictions in general. Here’s how I’ve been doing throughout this crazy experience !

How I’ve Been Coping.

When I first heard about Coronavirus, I’ll be honest, it scared me a bit, but in my head I just seemed to tell myself it wouldn’t affect Ireland, I’m not sure why, I just did ! I just brushed it off and didn’t let it worry me or think about it much. Soon enough the first case hit Ireland, then another and another and BAM the schools were shut ! I remember walking out of English class right after it had been announced that schools would shut that evening, everyone was so happy ! I walked out of school that day my bag stuffed full of books (like a first year’s 😂) thinking that I would be back on Patrick’s Hill no more than two weeks later. Here I am almost six weeks on, sitting on my decking in the sunshine writing this blog, no sign of school anytime soon ! I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the last month and a bit, for instance, before all this I thought I was a home-bird, I’ve always enjoyed being at home but after about five days at home I was getting restless now I’ve learnt that home is the last place on this Earth I’d like to be ! But it’s the safest place I can be, so it’s good enough for now ! I’ve learnt that being at home all of the time plays with my head, there’s just too much time to think and too much to think about, I’m the type of person who always needs to be doing something productive with my time and that’s not so easy to do now that I can’t leave my house. I’ve learnt that I enjoy being outside more than I thought I did. I’ve always enjoyed being out and about but I’ve realised I haven’t always taken the time to notice what’s around me. I live in the countryside, we’re really lucky to have so much space around us and beautiful views and since lockdown began I’ve really appreciated that because of the new rules, I understand many people live in built up urban areas with little or no gardens, this is one time living in the middle of nowhere has its advantage ! During lockdown I’ve taken time out to do things I wouldn’t usually get the time to do too often because of school and other everyday activities like, going on evening strolls and cycles as the sun sets, cooking and baking new things, singing more, playing my ukulele, doing makeup and other things like that.             

Friends and Family.

I think I like most other people my age forgot about the part where lockdown also meant you can’t see your friends ! I didn’t realise how much I’d miss going to school each day and chatting with my friends, or going out with friends at the weekend, or meeting up at extracurricular activities. We truly did take advantage of standard communication, that might be talking with the barista in a coffee shop, seeing someone you know in town etc. This is where family comes in, I’m pretty close with my family so we’ve been doing well at home just trying to make each other laugh and leaving each other alone when needed ! If my family annoys me (which happens!) I usually FaceTime my friends or relatives who live abroad which helps ! I’m lucky enough to be able to have both parents working from home to look after my sister and I. To keep busy at home we’ll often watch a movie, play a game or go outside whether its for a walk or cycle or just sitting out.

How Ireland is doing as a Nation.

Since restrictions have been put in place I think the people of Ireland have come together as a nation and worked really well in staying at home where possible, only going out for essential items and having hope and respect for our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who has the tough job of guiding us all through this hard time.

The thing that interests me most at this time is the fact that we are living through a huge time that will go down in history, my sister is almost 9 years old now and by the time she is my age she will probably be learning about 2020 the year COVID-19 changed the World, as well as all of the kids and grandkids of my generation ! We learn in history about the Black Death which hit Europe in 1347-1353, killing over 50 million people, it leads you to believe what Coronavirus of 2020-? will be like and if the end is near or far ? For now we all just need to keep going, staying inside when we can and staying positive 🙂