Forty-Two Days and Counting…

April 20 2020 Hollie Turley 2nd Year

When I first heard about COVID-19 it was still in China. Far, far away. Like seriously, immensely far away! We’re talking about the other side of the world kind of far away. I feel like everyone here in Ireland (including myself) just ignored it, tossed our worries aside to be dealt with later. Well, now it is later, and there are currently over 15000 cases of the virus in Ireland, and the numbers keep on rising every day, the death toll with it. As I’m writing these figures down in this blog, I can’t help but feel shocked and ask myself the gnawing question, “Is this really happening?” I honestly feel as if I’m living in a movie, except I’m not. Sometimes I have to remind myself that people are suffering, whether it is COVID-19 victims themselves, or their families. It’s so much to take in!

 The country has almost been in lockdown for a whole six weeks and I’m honestly stunned. When I think back to when I was first beginning second year, I can wholeheartedly say that a global pandemic did not cross my mind as a problem that would be on my mind! Algebra, analyzed cash books, yes but not this! When I first heard that I would be missing school for a whole two weeks I was elated! I couldn’t wait to stay at home and not have to go to school. I couldn’t wait to catch up on some Netflix shows, relax, not wake up at seven am and not have to do any more schoolwork! Well, my last assumption of what life under quarantine would be like was far from the truth because we still have digital school, but at least the prospect made me momentarily happy…at least I have extra time to study for the summer exams now though, which is great. Who knew that six weeks later, there would still be a nationwide lockdown? Forty-two days of quarantine! Forty-two days at home with nowhere to go. No face to face socialization with our friends (only through a screen) and, lest we forget, forty-two days of being bored out of our brains! However, when you put things into perspective we shouldn’t be moaning about lockdown because at the end of the day, at home is the safest place we can be right now and I’m grateful that I have a home and the support of my friends and family behind me during this difficult time.

Keeping how lucky I truly am in mind, I try to not whine too much about lockdown (but don’t get me wrong, I don’t always stick to this motto!) and just get on with it. To pass the time I’ve been catching up on schoolwork and baking new concoctions that I never would have had the time to invent if I wasn’t in lockdown! I think though, that the greatest thing that has come out of quarantine for me is my passion for running. Before lockdown, I would run maybe for a couple weeks, then stop and start again for a week. It wasn’t a regular thing and I never really realized how much I loved it. Now, I go for a run every day and like to blast some tunes while I’m at it. I also do some at home workouts in the evening which has kept me occupied also. I think as teenagers, it’s really important to look after our mental health during this difficult time and for me, staying active is crucial in having a strong sense of well-being. It really clears my head and I’m so grateful to live in the countryside with great running opportunities at this difficult time. I’ve also been taking Studio Wolfe Zoom Dance Classes almost every day and I really enjoy them!

Overall, yes, lockdown can sometimes be boring and there’s no doubt that it’s a difficult time for everyone, but at the end of the day, it is what is going to defeat COVID-19 and keep us safe. Not to mention that it will prevent the loss of many precious lives, which should always be the main priority with anything. Now is a time for us to come together, for the world to come together by staying at home!