Covid-19: A time to slow down and love

‘Perhaps it was the way my mother walked, the way she held my hand, reminded him of his own mother?’

‘It feels like the wheels of progress around the country have ground to a halt, for the benefit of folk like my mother and I.’ Photograph: iStock

‘It feels like the wheels of progress around the country have ground to a halt, for the benefit of folk like my mother and I.’ Photograph: iStock

 

Sir, – I am immune-compromised. At 25, I was diagnosed with a condition for which I was offered medication. I started taking this medication around five years ago, when I was 40.

For the 15 years beforehand, I had difficulty accepting my diagnosis: I was in turns, angry, depressed, fretful of my future. As symptoms intensified, I relented and accepted my new reality and medication.

As coronavirus struck Ireland, I recognised the response: the denial and rage, the divisions between others and from within; it takes time to accept a diagnosis and the fact that the world, as you have known it, has changed.

Nowadays, my brothers and I are part of my parents’ caring network as they are elderly.

Last week, as the country moved to Level 5, I took my mother to her pharmacy in Salthill.

As she and I crossed the road (slowly), an oncoming delivery van slowed down. The driver motioned to me, his gesture communicated “take your time”. He knew. Perhaps it was the way my mother walked, the way she held my hand, reminded him of his own mother? I’ve no doubt he had something important to deliver somewhere that was urgent, yet he slowed down.

Tonight, it feels like the wheels of progress around the country have ground to a halt, for the benefit of folk like my mother and I. Has there ever been a gesture like this in the history of our civilisation?

Thank you Ireland, I love you. – Yours, etc,

FELIM MAC DERMOTT,

Galway.