Like many others, I was shocked by the sudden news of the lockdown on Friday 27th March.
How was I going to pass the day? Being a very active man in my eighties, I was a constant visitor to the National Gallery and art showrooms and music venues. I went for walks in St. Stephen’s Green or Trinity College Campus. So, what was going to do now?
It took me a couple of days to realise that in the past I was using my constant activity to escape from myself – I needed to be among people without questioning why. Slowly but surely as I delved into my inner being – something I had never done before – I began to realise that I could cope with being alone, could pass the day productively. That was enormously liberating.
My first ‘every day’ concern was feeding myself. In that regard I am lucky to be living in Sheltered Accommodation as we can avail of inhouse cooking – we have a truly excellent chef. As I am in the lifelong habit of eating in the evening, I microwave the food served at lunchtime.
That was my evening meal sorted.
But where was I going to get my salad lunch?
Again, I was lucky as one of the staff of Cavistons in Glasthule delivers “goodies” to me twice a week on his way home. The Dublin Central mission, which operates the sheltered housing complex, provide a range of items so that there is no need for us to go out shopping for day to day necessities.
After living here for a number of years, I have discovered how very caring our community is, more so because of the Corvis-19 virus. Though we are free to go out, we don’t because by doing so we would risk introducing the virus, thus effecting health of the most vulnerable of our co-residents.
I and my fellow residents are lucky in that our complex is set among extensive gardens. This is a great bonus. Walking around is beneficial for both our physical and mental health. The gardens have not been used so much before. Not it is filled with chat and laughter.
I have to admit that self-isolation was not easy. I tried not to dwell because it made me feel very vulnerable. Normality had literally flown out the window. What if I my laptop or my television broke down? Because of the lockdown, there would be nobody who could come to fix it. I guess these feelings could be regarded as post traumatic shock syndrome.
On the positive side, the general mood among my co-residents would come as a surprise to many. No moaning. We help each other to get on with the our restricted lives. And most importantly of all, we have had no Covid-19 cases.
The question that occupies our minds now is what will be outside world be like when we emerge into a new reality.
(c) William Blackall