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Published on: Covid-19

Billy (Client) — Covid-19: From Lockdown to Breakout

“In these dark times there was always a shining light looking over me. That light was Galway Simon.”

Throughout Covid-19, there has been a significant effort to keep people connected within Galway Simon through community activities via Zoom. Meet Billy, one of our clients who very much embraced this new online community. In this guest blog, Billy has written about his experience during lockdown.

In these testing times, many have experienced uncontrollable visions of where the sight of a future is almost impossible to see, and impossible to bear. New meanings to words were developed like lockdown, pandemic and cocoon.

The word cocoon became a scary saying but a cocoon is a wonderful thing.

A cocoon is a way of protection used by caterpillars to protect themselves from outer elements. They progress to a beautiful butterfly from their endeavours. Humans can also protect themselves in this way. It may not be a butterfly on the outcome but the tranquillity of being at one with self is a unique way of learning the inner feelings of yourself. In every aspect of life, there is an underlining desire to survive. Our current actions dictate our future survival.

In these trying times, we have learned and reinvented many things in life that we all take for granted. The solitude of being with self, to the interaction of friends and family become a sub-noxious reality of daily living. Shopping became a chore, walking was a near death experience and greeting people was almost unheard of.

In these dark times there was always a shining light looking over me. That light was Galway Simon.

It is with pride I say that no Covid-19 case has been reported from Galway Simon. So good I will reiterate, not one single case. Well done to all involved.

Galway Simon were very fast in new ideas. So fast, it was hard to keep up. Zoom became the new boom and reality became a virtual experience. The endeavours of Fiona Thornton (Occupational Therapist) shun out like a beacon light. A new horizon was in sight in the vision of a Health and Well-being week. This week enabled many to undertake and experience facets of life previously unearthed and sometimes unachievable. A breakout from lockdown was in sight.

Fiona organised a fitness class, art therapy, creative writing, yoga, mindfulness, talks with Galway Simon’s nurse, Regina, as well as the Galway Simon music project fronted by Brian Hickey (Coordinator) and Carol Duffy (Music Director). Each class was a fantastic experience and a huge thank you to each facilitator employed.

Zoom is the new boom but like everything, a zoom can turn into doom without social interaction. Gratitude became diminished and the experience became faded. We want social interaction like a flick of a light switch. Yes it is difficult for everyone, it is testing times and hard to comprehend.

Let us just show gratitude to the people keeping us safe.

How they put themselves at risk each day to ensure a better standard of living for every client who is privileged to have the support that only the lucky ones have.

Client & Music Project Member

At Galway Simon, our frontline staff and volunteers are working relentlessly, doing whatever it takes, to help those experiencing or at risk of homelessness to live safe and well in their local community where they belong. We remain fully committed to maintaining effective relationships with our clients that reassures them that they belong and that they are valued.

The Covid-19 crisis is putting so many already vulnerable people at particular risk, including those who are homeless and those who are at risk of falling into homelessness. Right now, our services are stretched more than ever.

There has never been a more important time to show your support for Galway Simon. If you can manage it in the current circumstances, please consider making a donation today.