How do we do this? What do we do when we can’t do what we’ve always done?
I’m writing this the week the Taoiseach has declared a national emergency, thousands of people have lost their jobs and we have been told to pull back, be responsible, listen to the medical experts and stay away from one another.
What about love and affection?, What about family?, What about friends? What about Mother’s Day?
Typically, myself and my siblings would take Mum out for lunch in a bustling restaurant, bring her bunches of flowers, dollop many hugs and kisses around to celebrate our lovely Mum and use the time to catch up with one another. It is a special day when, no matter what has happened through the year (separation, fighting, disagreements etc.), we put it all aside. This year, all has changed.
I’ve been watching the spread of Covid-19 with morbid interest and planning (I suspect most people with MS or other chronic illnesses have been). Many of us are on treatments that impact our immune systems, leaving us more vulnerable to illnesses.
For MS-specific information, see this brilliant article from Professor Gavin Giovannoni - Covid-19 and DMTs
Many of us rely on other people to take care of our personal needs, people who come to our homes to feed, wash, clean, do jobs around the house, help us out, help us ‘get on’ with daily life. Many people have children who, instead of sitting in classrooms learning, are now tumbling around the house looking for things to do, things to eat and adults to entertain them. Many of us live alone and with this lockdown, are in a state of absolute boredom and loneliness.
Some of us are living in residential homes, in small rooms, where the only people we see are members of staff. Some of us have lost our jobs, are scrambling to get signed-on and hoping the social welfare will kick-in before the bills come in the door. Many of us are missing meals, skimping on the electric to try to keep bills down. Some of us need to contact our bank because of the mortgage or we hope our landlord/the agent will talk to us and maybe we can work out a plan? Many of us are anxious, spinning and unsure and it’s really, really difficult.
This crisis has been the perfect excuse for me to get in contact with people I’ve fallen out of touch with. I’m using this time as a good reason to reconnect with people. I call my Mum everyday. Over these past few weeks we’ve learned to FaceTime and I’ve learned how to juggle a baby and a little one on my lap while holding a phone.
But I miss her so much. I miss her visits, I miss her seeing the Little One RUN as fast as possible across the garden to jump into her arms when she arrives. I miss her delight at seeing her grandchildren. She sees how much they’ve grown. I miss her wisdom, her words but most of all, I miss her presence. I look forward to the day when she and I can hug and be together again. In the meantime, I keep my phone charged, send lots of videos of the kiddies and keep in touch.
This Mother’s Day we will all stay away from Mum but we will be calling her and staying in contact. Above all of this, I wish all the mothers, all their families, the very best of health.
Stay in contact with Emma on Twitter https://twitter.com/emmadragon
For the latest information on Covid-19, social welfare and updates are all on the following website:
Follow the link below to MS Ireland's COVID-19 Information Centre: