Hi, my name is Marie and I live at Clochar Court, Innisfree’s sheltered Housing for older Irish people. It is a super place, complete with a beautiful garden and supportive neighbours.
When the early measures to contain the Virus were announced, I was not terribly worried. I was comfortably situated and had help coming in most days as my mobility is very poor. I had been ordering my groceries online for years, had my own computer and was very independent, quite self-contained and barely went out anyway, except to doctor’s appointments. In fact, my doctor did Home Visits, unheard of these days. I only had one health worry, and this was being looked into.
So far, so good.
My first problem was that my main helper could not come in as she has three sons and they were at home once the schools closed. Thankfully, I have other helpers who come in as needed and they were able to fill the gap for me.
I foolishly thought that, as I had been a loyal customer with two major supermarkets and had Delivery Passes for both (in other words, I paid a monthly fee to ensure my groceries would be delivered at a convenient time, on a day convenient to myself) that this would just continue. To cut a long story short, it did not, impossible to get slots, at any time, convenient or not. It turned into the old “Pay Up and Shut Up.” To get my groceries, I had to pay other companies for my supplies. There were many offers of help with shopping from all corners, volunteers included, but I always like to make my own arrangements.
One Thursday afternoon I looked in my fridge, pretty forlorn. Me and the Fridge. My doorbell rings and next thing I am the grateful recipient of a huge box of Irish food, compliments of Brent Irish Advisory Service. Talk about good timing. Well, it did not do my figure any good, but I was not going to worry about that. Irish Whiskey Cake, Porter Cake, Bracken Bread, Irish biscuits, Barry’s Tea and Irish Packet Soups. As well as that, fresh fruit and vegetables, enough to feed a horse. The same arrived for some other residents and we all shared as it was far too much for one.
I was affected in several ways but always aware that I had much to be grateful for. Staying alive for a start. I am now in my 70’s and have enjoyed a full life. This made me look at things rather differently. Life was sweet, even with severe arthritis and poor mobility, but this pandemic has made me look at things from a different viewpoint.
For now, it appears that the worst of it is over and I am, once again, grateful for my blessings.