COVID-19

Well, it’s a scary time in this world right now, isn’t it? We’re so used to the notion that modern medicine can cure all ills, or most of them, that something new comes along, is highly contagious and we all struggle.

So far, my life is similar to what it was before. I work in the food industry, so I still need to come to work every day. But measures are being taken – rather than sharing an office, I’m on my own. Anyone who can work from home, is working from home. Production lines have been rejigged and manipulated to allow the recommended 2m of distance between people. We have an obligation to continue supplying food, but at the same time to keep ourselves safe.

And so… what can we do for ourselves? Physical health is one thing, but mental and emotional health is another. If you are in isolation, consider putting together routines and strategies so that you can manage your life. Technology is our friend here – maybe you can’t go meet friends face to face, but can you arrange a dinner via Skype or Zoom or some other platform? I’ve arranged with some friends that we’re going to do a games night this Saturday over Skype. It’s hard having our freedoms limited – and if it was long term, I’d be out on the streets protesting alright! But this is for our protection, and more importantly to protect the vulnerable in our society.

In this time, Brigid is a good person to have on your side. If you have the brat Bhríde at home – use it!! It will give comfort, support and a snuggle if nothing else. If you have the time and the resources, saying a prayer and asking for help/ guidance rarely causes harm. If you can, offer to help those around you – are there people in your community who are afraid to leave their homes because of suppressed immune systems or other worried? Maybe communicate through doors and windows, pick up some things from the shops when you go out yourself and leave them on the step.

If you can leave the house, remember the 2m rule and remember that hoarding will help nobody in the long term. I’ll admit to picking up an extra bag of lentils at the weekend, but I wasn’t stocking up for a six month siege. Pick up the extra to make youself feel happier and leave plenty of the rest of the community. We’re only going to get through this together.

And, if you can, limit your exposure to the media -social or otherwise. Just at the minute there’s a whole rake of bad news and scaremongering being thrown at us. Expose yourself to sources you trust – here in Ireland I’m limiting myself to about a half hour on Facebook while looking at the 9pm news on RTE (our national broadcaster). It helps me keep on top of what’s happening while not overwhelming myself. Of course, this doesn’t save me from the constant meetings and discussions at work, but it is helping me manage my own mental health.

I know my husband, who is now working from home, is struggling with being in the house all day alone, so he’s going for walks, keeping in touch with friends and family and engaging his brain in different ways (you wouldn’t believe the amount of little projects he’s getting through!!)

If you need help and support, reach out. Talking helps, especially if it’s someone you trust. Listen to the advice given by your national/regional authorities and the WHO.

And remember – if you’re reading this blog, you at least have an interest in Brigid – use her. Pray, light candles, maybe do a little ritual if you like. Ask for help – we’re not alone.

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