Mary Dee, Diocese of Waterford and Lismore
Q1. How are you coping with lockdown/social distancing?
I am actually coping quite well at the moment. Maybe it is a little easier for me as I live alone anyway, so social distancing is not that difficult! The thought of the extra three weeks were very daunting at first, and I will admit to being a little upset, but I have settled into the idea and I know it must be done to save lives. I live in the country, and I have fantastic neighbours and friends. We are all looking out for each other, and we social distance on the road while out walking or just stopping to say hello! My phone never stops ringing or beeping with texts or calls from family and friends keeping in touch. I am very blessed.
Q2. What do you miss most?
I miss company – I am not a person to sit still and be home for all this length of time. It can get very lonely, just knowing that I am in a lockdown. I miss the fact that I cannot see my family and friends until this is all over. Easter weekend was very difficult as for the last 40 years, I have been involved in my parish with the choir etc. However, live streaming helped me get through this and I found myself praying in a more meaningful way by taking part virtually in the ceremonies, without having responsibility the usual added responsibility of being in the choir.
Q3. How are you reaching out online? Is there anything you will continue online once lockdown is over?
I post a quote or a funny picture everyday on my Facebook page. This is something I had been doing before all this began. Sometimes the quote is deep and meaningful but sometimes it is also a bit of humour. We need to laugh in these difficult days, and I have found myself laughing a lot actually. I am a humorous person by nature, and it helps. I will continue to do this after the lockdown. I also do WhatsApp Video calls and it is great to actually see people and have that face to face interaction.
Q4. What is the first thing you will do after lockdown and when social distancing is over?
The first thing I will do after lockdown is visit my family and close friends just to hug them! Then, I will have to get my hair done!!!!!
Q5. Have you a message for people in need of hope and encouragement at this time?
Keep focused on the fact that we are actually saving lives by staying at home. If we keep this first and foremost in our minds, it will make it easier to focus on the task.
Stick to a routine and find time each day to reflect and pray about what is happening around us, and maybe decide on one thing that you will continue to do after all this is over. I have found that what was important at the beginning of the year, became no longer important once this pandemic began. My ‘creaking at the seams’ diary a month ago is currently blank. That in itself, is a lesson for us all.