I know some people prefer not to talk or think about Covid-19 restrictions but we can’t bury our heads in the sand either.

In order to live our lives, we have to assess every decision we make and ask ourselves: “Is it safe or could I take further precautions to keep vulnerable people from getting the virus?”


The easiest way to proceed is to follow the guidelines and to stay the distance.

All of my family have now had one vaccine and Julie has had two. Four of us have had AstraZeneca and three have had Pfizer. We had varied reactions from headaches to feeling cold to nothing at all. Nobody missed a day’s work.

Listening to Professor Luke O’Neill on the radio during the week, he made it very clear that all four vaccine types will prevent Covid-19 from developing into serious disease and eliminate the need for hospital treatment.

Surely these are worthwhile reasons to have the vaccine?

Attending a funeral

Covid-19 has driven us apart. It has damaged our extended relationships. It has stopped us needing each other. We’ve become self-sufficient in our own bubbles.

I have a dull ache in my chest when I think about the people I love and particularly the people that I could not give support to in their time of need.

Lynn, my sister-in-law, lost her dad, Andre, in February in London. May he rest in peace.

Ordinarily I would have gone over to her. Instead I was reduced to watching Andre’s funeral mass online. I saw my lovely nieces Anna and Marie reading and Cathy singing beautifully as they grieved for their papi.

My brother Conor could have done with my support at that difficult time in their lives.

Last Thursday I drove to Tipperary to pay my respects to my other sister-in-law, Mary, whose father had also died. I was grateful for the opportunity to at least walk through the funeral home where Johnny Everard RIP, was lying in repose.

Johnny was 98-years-old. He had lived a long and happy life with his wife Josephine, cherished by their seven children and extended families.

He was a stalwart member of the community and, in particular, the GAA. This was a life that should have been celebrated but instead families are left with skeleton support. It is really tough.

We draw strength from each other, from kind words, from touch, from the hand shake, from a warm embrace.

It was cruel not to be able to talk properly to the family, instead rushing by like an observer rather than a participant.

Masks and social distance were the order of the day. I saw cousins in the distance and instead of moving towards me, they moved away. This is definitely compounding loss and deepening grief for people who have lost their nearest and dearest all over the country.

How can they pick up the pieces alone without the ability to talk about the person that has died, to tell little stories and to hear other people’s memories?

We hear of deaths and we put a few words online. I can’t imagine what this is doing to people.

How can they pick up the pieces alone without the ability to talk about the person that has died, to tell little stories and to hear other people’s memories?

I learned so much about my mother that I didn’t know at her funeral – her kindness to others and I was reminded of so many wonderful memories.

As a family we shared these stories for weeks and months.

This is the type of stuff that sustains us through grief and it is absent. Families are missing it. So too are organisations that are losing past members. Some people will have died and we won’t even have heard about their deaths. That is so very sad.

Acknowledge our struggle

We need to make time to acknowledge the pain, the hurt, the loss of precious time together and the loneliness that follows. It is a struggle and there will be fallout.

We need to recognise this absolute commitment that we continue to give to saving our neighbours, our country and our world from this pandemic.

We need to acknowledge that this is really hard for a lot of people. Nevertheless, we must have faith in the system and in the experts to get us through this time.