Jenny Kerr from Navan shares her experience with lockdown
It has been almost a year since the first case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in Ireland, which reminded me that it has been almost a year since I wrote about my experience. Throughout that time, there has been a mixture of positives and negatives in the way the country is dealing with the whole situation.
In the last year, our nation has had to endure living within the restrictions of three Level 5 Lockdowns. Cases having increased again since December, and more recently, the discovery of three other variants of the virus was detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
On a more positive note, the rollout of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines has given some hope to people in this country and around the world that the end of this pandemic could finally be within sight. However, fear still remains a factor as rumours surfaced about the effectiveness of the vaccines, particularly on the new variants.
For me, personally, the past year has also created a mixture of positives and negatives. Over the past three years, I have been receiving dialysis treatment in Beaumont Hospital. The constant travelling up and down four days a week during that time was very tiring and took its toll on my family and I both physically and emotionally. However, added to that is the extra stress and sense of fear that the Coronavirus has brought to our lives this past year.
Thankfully there have been many positives to help distract us from all these negatives. Just as the Pandemic hit and Ireland went into the first of the three Lockdowns, my PA and I started working together. At first, I was in a bit of a panic, worrying about how we would use our time together wisely. As anywhere we could have gone on days when I didn’t have dialysis, had to close due to the Level 5 Lockdowns.
However, I needn’t have worried so much as ever since we started working together, my PA has been teaching me to make some stunning handmade crafts which I have been gifting to family and friends for different special occasions.
There was also another massive positive for both my family and I with the new addition to the family, my gorgeous niece, who was born in September. Although I haven’t had many opportunities to see her in person over the past few months, the constant video clips, picture messages, and video calls with her and her parents really helps to cheer me up during these difficult times.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Irish Wheelchair Association. They have been a great support to me and others like me and our families, by providing us with activity packs and arranging courses through video calling apps such as Zoom.
These activities have helped us keep in contact with each other, which has helped to provide everyone with a distraction from all the stress and worry the pandemic has brought into our lives.