‘This is the time you need to think of others’

By Maurice Garvey

SOCIAL and physical distancing is a new concept we are coming to terms with, but for residents with underlying health conditions, this has already been a way of life.

“We are living with this for 18 years,” said Clondalkin mother Lisa McHugh Farrelly.

Glen McHugh Farrelly2 Covid1 compressor

Glen McHugh Farrelly

Lisa’s son Glen (18), has Type 2 SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), a debilitating illness which takes away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe.

Glen is in the category of people deemed to be the most vulnerable in society, and the fear of Covid-19 has “heightened” concerns for him, according to Lisa.

She said: “We haven’t left the house in two weeks. I go out once a week for shopping, it is a bit of a military operation. It is so important that nothing is brought home to Glen. At the front door I take off my coat, put my shoes in a bag.

“This is every Winter for us. The fear of the common flu but obviously it is more heightened now.”

Speaking to The Echo on Tuesday, Lisa had just returned from her weekly ‘military operation’ at The Mill Shopping Centre, but is concerned that some people are not taking the crisis seriously.

“I can’t believe how many people are out and about. Dunnes and the Mill have mapped everything out and taken the right precautions, but there was some crossing over with people. I think more people are aware, but some think ‘it will be grand’.

“Some say ‘it is only a cold’ but this is someone’s life. This is the time you need to think of others. One thing I would say, is this virus is detrimental to all people, not just those with underlying conditions.”

Glen is studying at Maynooth University, but Lisa made the decision to take him out of college just before the campus shut down.

“That was a Godsend, if Glen got this, it is definitely bad news for him,” said Lisa.

“Yesterday he did a video conference with the class in his bedroom. Have to say it was so good to get back into college, have something to do, get the brain going, have some kind of normality.”

Glen urged residents to “stay at home but if you must go out keep your distance and take all precautions.”

Lisa hopes one silver lining of this crisis is it might make more people aware of health and safety.

“Young kids are learning they have to wash their hands. People need to be more aware. Shopping centres are doing their part, we need to do ours.”

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