My New Five-A-Day

April 24 2020 Ciara Crowley Transition Year

Hi, my name is Ciara, I’m 16 years old and I am living at home under lockdown with my parents and older brother in Cork, Ireland.

Life as I knew it has dramatically changed over the last few weeks. March 11th, 2020, a day that will likely be remembered for a long time, the day the World Health Organisation classified and declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. Within days, airports were closed, schools were cancelled, and supermarket shelves were empty as a consequence of people panic buying.

Because of the coronavirus lockdown, I have quickly become accustomed to the new routines in our house. While I am enjoying not having to get up so early for school, I still find myself reluctantly having to engage online with my teachers who continue to give a lot of work to do at home. It’s not the same as being in school because I really miss being with my friends and having a laugh. My new five-a-day consists of exercising, cooking, drawing, socialising online and watching TV.

My perception of family has definitely changed since all this started. We’ve been doing a lot more together, going for nature walks, baking, playing board games and basketball. We still annoy each other but we are also having a lot of fun. I certainly think my family dynamics have changed a lot in the last few weeks: everyone’s has!

My dad now works from home, so he spends a lot of time every day on his computer. My brother is trying to stay motivated, having his college lectures moved online. He has his summer exams soon, so he is spending lots of time studying for them. My mom is struggling to keep sane during this time. She is used to having a quiet house, but now, having us all at home, is wrecking her head. She spends a lot more time baking and we are all enjoying her tasty treats. During this time, I have developed new cooking and baking skills too.

During the week, my mom and I cook a batch of dinners to drop into my nan’s house, leaving them at her doorstep, as she is cocooning. It’s nice to see her even though we must keep a distance of 2 metres. It must be lonely for her as she doesn’t see anybody all day. However, she is a bit of a telly addict, like myself, so at least she has the TV to keep her occupied.

They say a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people, from great generosity to mind-boggling greed. I’ve loved seeing how people have projected movies onto the side of a building so an entire neighbourhood can watch a movie together while social distancing. People are really coming together in a way they haven’t before, and that’s really positive. Regarding the coronavirus in Ireland, a lot has happened in the last few weeks. Hundreds of new cases are diagnosed daily, and, sadly, many deaths have occurred too. People are now beginning to truly understand the severity and magnitude of this deadly virus.

It started as a warning, it turned into a pandemic, and it has changed life as we know it.