New Challenges

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Things are beginning to open up in Ireland, post lockdown. Some friends have suggested a careful meeting. Naturally I am looking forward to it, but to be honest, I am also a bit anxious about it even though I have known these people for years. I doubt that I am alone in being anxious about new social outings. I am wondering if I will be able to string two words together. Recently I have noticed that the part of my brain that used to store people’s names has gone on strike. A woman called me by name the other day and started telling me about her baby. I bluffed my way through the chat, and it was 24 hours before I could remember her name. I had been sure that it started with a D, only to discover it started with a K instead. My brain may melt due to overwhelm and overload during upcoming social events, but it will be worth it. In a queue outside Lidl yesterday morning (plant day!) I was in the middle of a conversation being held by two neighbours. They listed the local seniors who had been very capable and competent pre-covid and who had become very feeble for no medical reason. It seemed that their energy dwindled as social isolation took its toll. They didn’t feel needed anymore and their lives shrunk. How sad.

Inside Lidl, people descended on the plant section like amiable crazed locusts, cracking jokes and laughing. Who would have thought going to a supermarket would be the social highlight of the week for over a year? Here are the things I hope we never take for granted again, post-covid: hugs, being able to meet family and friends, dancing together. Let us savour each moment of freedom with joy. Blessings.

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