COVID-19 Encouragement Column (March)

Dear friends, amidst this Covid-19 season, with some cities being on lockdown, essential services like palliative care continues. Many of us continue to support patients and their families at the front line, in the hospitals, in the hospices, and making home visitations while donning protective gear. But protecting ourselves physically is not enough. Let us not forget about the importance of self-care for our emotional health. Here’s a poem to uplift our spirits and cheer us on during these times of uncertainties.

Lockdown by Fr Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing

From dust we come, to dust we will return. Know that in spite of the uncertainties ahead, we all strive to do our best for our patients, and that is enough. Know that we will solve problems as they come, day by day, and that is enough. Know that there may be problems we cannot resolve, things beyond our control, but we stand united, present with one another, as a human to another human. Let us continue to share our thoughts and encouragements with one another and find strength to continue the work we do best.

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With Love
APHN Psychosocial Support Volunteer Group