April 2020…..Glimpses of a Town in Lockdown

Cherrytree in bloom in the closed Pitch and Putt course

The cinema is closed and the old Walshe’s Ballroom doesn’t presently have a business .

 Upper William Street from the old Casa Mia to the old post office.

 St. Vincent de Paul shop closed.

No music at Mike the Pies

 Not a living soul, hog, dog nor devil, on the street

Carmody’s Corner and Charles Street

 Royal China are operating a take away service only. In the age old fashion of Chinese restaurants, it’s all about numbers. You get a number when you place your order. When your meal is ready they display your number on to the inside window sill and you collect at the hatch.

The Mermaids

 Tracey Grimes’, that used to be Moriarty’s

William Street, Listowel in lockdown

Billy is still flying the flag at John B.’s.

Market Street

McKenna’s and Chemco

Customers are not allowed in the shop at McKenna’s but you can collect your order at the door.

This is the corner where John B.’s famous corner boys hung out.

Lower William Street

This window reminds us of happier times. There will be no Tidy Town competition this year but our town looks spotless anyway.

Looking into Main Street, the sign on Broderick’s Pharmacy window reminds us to wash our hands. Hand hygiene is one of the three main planks of our fight to slow the progress of Covid 19. The others  are social distancing, staying at least 2 metres apart,  cough etiquette and cocooning the vulnerable members of our community.

The kids are all indoors. Confirmation Day has been and gone and Communion Day will pass without a day out too.

Ah, Revival! Not cancelled yet but big question marks hang over it due to the difficulty of following  social distancing guidelines

Lower Church Street

Main Street

At Listowel Racecourse

No June race meeting this year and the Harvest Festival meeting is in question as well.


Life in Isolation

Stuck at home / safe at home

I have not felt the touch of a human hand for the past six weeks but  I have been touched, supported and loved by means I didn’t even know existed two months ago.

Covid 19 has been an enormous learning experience for us all.  I can use words and phrases like serology testing, R0 rate, herd immunity, community transmission and comorbidities. I could certainly now pick Dr. Tony Holohan or Dr. Philip Nolan out of a lineup of suited gentlemen.

Best of all I have learned how much I am loved and appreciated. My family have come up trumps. The love that was always there has taken concrete form in daily phone calls, postcards and endless text messages and memes. My neighbours, my friends and my former colleagues are a constant presence in  my life. People I have not heard from in years have rung or texted. The Christmas card list has come to life in April.

Things will never return to how they were. Almost overnight constants in our lives like work, church, school, the gym, the restaurant, the pub,  the match were all swept away in a surge of social distancing, working from home, self isolation and lockdown.

We will eventually emerge from this to a new normal, much chastened by our experience and hopefully, with a new appreciation of the little things.