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The Perks of Lockdown

The Perks of Being in Lockdown

A trip to visit family in Mayo for St. Patrick’s weekend turned into quite an extended stay for Connemara man Padraic Corduff. Living in Inverin, Co. Galway and a service user at Casla Resource Centre in Connemara, Padraic travelled to Mayo to visit his Aunt and Uncle for the bank holiday weekend in March. Little did he suspect that the visit would last far longer.

In Padraic’s first few days in Mayo, Covid-19 was gripping the country. The numbers of people infected by the virus were growing rapidly, increasing concern around the country about how this would affect us and what the best approach was to dealing with the crisis. By the time Paddy’s Day arrived, all pubs in Ireland were already closed and parades cancelled. Further measures included the closure of all schools, colleges and Universities to stem the spread. By the end of March, lockdown was our new normal and everyday practises like travel, shopping and socialising were no longer freely available to us.

For Padraic, this meant he could no longer attend work or mass or even the barber and as he was in Mayo and travel was restricted, it meant he would be staying there for the duration.

For the first couple of weeks things took a little getting used to. His Uncle, David, had returned from his construction job in Dublin and was self-isolating in his room while Padraic and his Aunt Rita got on with navigating the new normal. David kept to his room and did not eat his meals, watch TV or do any of the myriad daily activities with Padraic and Rita.

When the 2 week self-isolation was up and David re-joined the family, they ordered a hair clippers online and Padraic tried his hand as a barber, giving his uncle a smart new look. David returned the favour and Padraic too got a great haircut. Both parties were very happy with the results.

Around the house both Padraic and his uncle got stuck in to power-washing the house and yard. It didn’t take them long to get the job done and they were then on to the painting with Padraic holding the ladder while his uncle painted. After that Padraic got into stacking wood on pallets as David chopped it. And they didn’t stop there. Next it was plastering inside the house with a myriad other little jobs along the way.

For Padraic lockdown meant being away from his parents and sisters since it started, along with missing his job in Spiddal, drumming classes in Galway and a variety of activities that he engaged in at the RehabCare Resource centre. But for Padraic, lockdown also meant learning new skills, increasing independence and supporting others.

Like the rest of us, Padraic is not a fan of the current pandemic and is looking forward to the easing of restrictions and being able to travel home to Galway. No doubt he will have plenty of great stories and pictures to share when he does.

Padraic’s story is told by Ann Styles, Programme Supervisor at RehabCare Casla