Cocooned It is nearly week three of isolation, I am bored out of my mind. There are only so many things you can cook or bake. I think I must have tried almost every recipe from the cookery books in my house, and I’ve even tried recipes online. It’s not that I don’t like cooking and baking, I do. It’s just how repetitive each day feels while being in “lockdown” . Yes I’m bored, just like many other teenagers. We thrive on being able to meet up with our friends often. Now we have to do without absolutely everything. But I am happy, happy that by staying in I can help to stop the spread of this horrible virus. By staying in I can protect my elderly granny, and my mother who had both cancer and tuberculosis when she was young. I only leave the house once a week, and this is to do the shopping. My mother and I shop for our own family, and for my granny and great auntie. I volunteered to do my great aunt's shopping as a part of my Pope John Paul Award. I have to leave the shopping outside the door of their houses. I also have to make sure I use hand sanitizer regularly, as I still am going into the community. I am happy that I can still exercise daily, even if it's only within two km of my home. It’s really helping me to keep sane. I talk to my granny by either sitting in our car with the window open whilst she is in the house, or by shouting through her house window. When I was down visiting yesterday, I asked her a few questions. Firstly, I asked her what she missed the most. She replied “my independence.” Granny has always been very mobile. She always went to mass daily and to the local shop. Now she has to watch mass online, which is a huge change for her. I then asked her if she enjoyed watching mass online. She replied “I find it so different because I can’t even receive Holy Communion now.” She has always loved talking to the people of our town, but now she hasn’t seen anyone except us in weeks. My granny loves to sing, and she usually attends a singing group once a week. I asked her if she missed her group and she replied “I’m lucky to have a radio and record player so at least I can still sing along to all my favourite songs and records, even though I’m at home”. I am happy that our country has gone on complete lockdown. If not, people would not be taking this seriously. If we stay at home and listen to the HSE guidelines, we will slow down the spread of Covid-19. We need to do this to help our healthcare professionals who are under so much pressure at this time. If we all stay at home, we will save many vulnerable lives. Aimee Mc Auliffe 68

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