28 MAY, 2020. We saw it coming of course. Covid-19 had been steadily advancing towards the end of February. Sister Margaret Mary Joyce had already been self-isolating since the day the schools closed. And yet it came as a shock when, on the Nine O’Clock News, it was announced that cocooning for the over 70s would begin with immediate effect! Voluntary isolation is one thing, enforced cocooning, without preparation, is another!
It took some time to settle, to relish the time and space, to deal with twinges of guilt and accept that, being over 70, this was the best contribution I could make.
There are 10 St Louis sisters here in Knock, with Mona Lally SSL, Jane Vereker SSL and Mary Connell SSL in local Nursing Homes. We keep in regular contact by phone and between March 12 and 27, I “visited” Marion McGreal SSL, Sheila Jordan SSL and Claudine McEnnis SSL through the windows of Brook Lodge! It is strange not to have seen any Sisters in seven weeks. Additional anxiety was added when we heard Covid-19 had visited Claremount Nursing Home. Thankfully, all tested negative.
Knock is deserted! A reality unheard of since August 1879! There are always pilgrims around at any hour of the day or night… but not now……
To read more about Sister Margaret Mary Joyce’s experience of cocooning during the Covid-19 pandemic, click on the latest edition of Musings, our monthly newsletter - Issue 97.