Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde and welcome to my weekly Report.
Well I have it, I have Covid19, tested positive five or six days ago. Earlier trials proved negative and how I dreaded the wait to see if the second red line would move along and put me among the condemned. For a day or two about a week ago I didn’t feel great so I ventured on another test, a move I didn’t take lightly because the word was out that testers were in short supply. To make sure of doing it right I didn’t spare my poor nostrils, followed the rules to a tee and waited and then low and behold the second line reddened up. This time instead of feeling any sense of alarm, I was rather more relieved. Glad in a way that the waiting was over and there was nothing to do for it but hope for the best, listen to the body a give it all the help I could to help it cope. Other members of the family ranging in age from 10 to 38, were already a week into their isolation and doing fine apart from headaches and stuffy noses. Now I’m the same. Having the advantage of my age I had the added guard of the booster in my system.
While warning everybody off and making no secret of our situation, we kept in touch, comparing notes and it was great to find that none of us were any more ill than if we had a heavy cold and continued to thank God for it. As the days went on we got news of many others joining the ranks, while the media continued to burst out with explosive figures of new cases. 10,000 or 12,000 a day and not giving the number of related deaths. While taking nothing for granted I listened to them in disgust while they instilled fearful dread into their subjects. I’ve witnessed creatures suffering in fear, afraid to go out even for a walk, or to buy food in case they caught the bug. In my opinion, it is not a thing to be dreaded as long as you have been vaccinated to the best of your ability. If I can in still some degree of confidence into even a few, by relating my own experience and of many around me, then my efforts will not be in vain. The good old reliable LemSip with a splash of local honey and Vitamin C is the only medication I need and lots of rest. This is nothing like the severe sickness that we got two years ago. It broke out early in December of the previous year and lasted until the end of February at least that was as long as it took me to shake it off. Down in my chest it felt like a rock and gave me a sore throat and headache. It felt strange and different to anything I’d ever experienced before. It took away my sense of smell and it has never come back and affected my speaking voice so badly that I had to give up my slot on local radio. Many others had similar experiences at the time but was never mentioned on the media. Not too long after the first hints of corona virus came on stream.
When all is said and done, this is the time of year for colds and flues. Always after Christmas we went down. As a child I can recall whole households becoming affected. A bad time really because the early Spring is calving time on the farm and other chores also coming on stream when every shoulder is needed to keep the wheel turning. But the bug of the day paid no heed to such things. I can still recall how sick we used to be, no appetite, bad taste in the mouth, sneezing coughing, runny noses. Sometimes one member of the family escaped to his peril really, because the onus was on him to keep the whole show going. Maintain the stock, do the cooking and serve those in bed, go to the shop for medicine and grub. It often went on for nearly two weeks before anybody got well enough to help. Getting people back to eat was always a problem, due to lack of taste and weakness . Until one day when someone was sent to town for a piece of boiling beef on the bone, from the butcher and a loaf or two of ‘town bread’, my Dad depended on it as a cure for all ills. Soon the familiar smell of it boiling in the big pot on the range filled the house with the air of goodness. Homegrown onions were chopped up and added. There were no soups to be bought that time except for Oxo Cubes or Bovril. But they were for other things, so the only thing used to bring the broth to a creamy consistency was plain flour and plenty of salt and pepper. The right amount blended with cold water was stirred in and brought to a rising boil until it was fully cooked. Waned appetites were coaxed back to life by this wonderful stuff and left an indelible mark in my mind and pallet which will never be erased.
Covid is set to be with us a while yet and not everybody will be affected the same way, we are blessed by the supply of vaccines which is available to us and never forget to Thank God for all those who care for the sick. I know there are exceptions to every rule. Some people will succumb to the virus and others pretty ill but telling ourselves the worst is not going to make things any better so be confident. As the old folks of our youth would say when all seemed lost,” Carry the Day”.
I think that too much isolation is prolonging the life of Covid and now that I have experience of it and finding it manageable I’m beginning to see it in a different light. There is nothing worse than to see the outbreak being prolonged in families where the first one affected will cocoon away from the others, then another gets it and a week later another. I think if they all stay together from the outset, there is a good chance of they all going down the same or nearly the same time and return to normal life again together. But that’s me talking as if it were a perfect world, which it is not.
How can we be ,but struck by the way that one man has turned his own bad situation into one very good one. The example of Charlie Bird has surely reached the hearts of the multitudes. He was one of our favourite reporters for many years and endeared himself to many through his fine work. But when he bravely featured on the Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy looking so unwell, he left the Nation in shock. But very soon he devised a plan which would give his own suffering and that of so many others like him, a new meaning. Rather than languish in his illness he’s going to climb a mountain and now everybody wants to climb a mountain with him. I am amazed at how his idea has taken on. From now till April 2nd the most unlikely folks will be out training , urging unwilling bodies to play a part for Charlie. The atmosphere which he and Vicky Phelan have created will brighten the Spring months for everyone because of the goodness which two sick people can eek out of the time that they have left. May the Good Lord reward them .
Many of the days are sunny and bright, but I suppose it’s too soon to talk about “Spring Cleaning” so for me at any rate it’s on the back burner for the moment. Out in the garden the birds are working hard. We are always told to dig up the moss on the lawn which I have to admit was never a thing that appealed to me. But I don’t have to because I have help. Just outside my window as I convalesce I can see the blackbirds pulling up tufts of the stuff up out of the ground there must be some reward under it for them but that doesn’t bother me, to see the job done is all I want. The friendly robin always makes me smile .
Next week will be one of lots of Prayers and devotion, when we will have the Kerry Diocese Mission on Line. A previous one was very successful and we can all be part of this one again and by contacting the source on line we will be told in advance about what will be on. It will run from Jan. 16 to 19. And I know it bring many blessings to us all.
Contact www.dioceseofkerry.ie for details.
Don’t forget to buy your tickets, the Lotto Draw resumes this Sunday night with a massive Jackpot of €18,400 and I’d like to wish all our supporters a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
The Men’s Shed is open on Tuesday nights, schools are open again and many other events such as the 45Drive at the Canon O’Donovan Centre on Tuesday nights and in Ballydaly on Sunday nights. I’m sure there are lots more. But as I’m out of circulation at the moment I am not aware of them. But there is always the walk in the park.
Agus sin a bhfuil, a chairde, Slan agus beannacht.