We need to care for the carers - A view of Donegal through the coronavirus crisis and beyond by Siobhán McNamara

Friday, March 27, 2020

Care for the carers during the Covid-19 pandemic

Care for the carers during the Covid-19 pandemic

Carers come in many shapes and forms but the one thing they have in common right now is that their lives have become a lot more challenging.

Our healthcare workers are very much in our thoughts at the moment, and the country uniting to applaud them was a wonderful mark of gratitude.

Even without the Covid-19 crisis, they are worthy of our applause They are there for us in our times of greatest need, when we have no choice but to trust others to care for ourselves or our loved ones. They do so with a compassion and fortitude that can seem impossible in the face of pain, despair and loss. And when they clock off, they go home to their own families to be mum or dad, sister or brother, son or daughter, and carry on.

It is hard to imagine how they are feeling right now, wondering how they will cope with the potential worst case scenario when they are already so overstretched; worried about their own health and that of their families but still turning up and getting on with it.

There are many other types of carers too - parents of children with additional needs, young people looking after a parent with a disability, those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's, those who are quietly supporting someone through addiction recovery or mental health problems, or those who are their own carers and are making a difficult journey alone.

We are all feeling the effects of our lives being disrupted. But there are so many people for whom it is a thousand times worse.

The best way to help our carers right now is to do everything in our power to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and minimise the time that the emergency measures need to last.

I was gutted to hear that beaches are now closed to the public, and saddened that this move was necessary. But that is where we find ourselves and if that is what it takes, so be it. 

We need to keep working together to get through this, and to bring it to and end as soon as we can.

In the meantime, to all our carers from nurses and doctors to weary parents and all in between, bualadh bos mór.

Read next: Old fears awakened - a view of Donegal during the coronavirus crisis and beyond by Siobhán McNamara

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