Behind the Mask: Veronica

Hi. My name is Veronica Brogan. I am the community employment supervisor in the Dublin Adult Learning Centre. I have been working here for 22 years and I love my job. 2020 has been a very different experience for all of us. My washing line is looking very different these days, with lots of reusable masks from my husband, 3 children and myself. Who would have thought this time last year that we would be regularly wearing masks at anytime other than Halloween? Now it is a common sight and we feel safer if those around us are wearing a mask properly.

On March 12th this year our lives changed very dramatically when Leo Varadkar announced a lockdown. We were all told to stay at home, to prevent our healthcare system being overwhelmed by Covid 19. There was very little known about the virus at that time apart from the fact that it was very contagious, so people were naturally very anxious and afraid. For me, I was happy to have extra time to spend at home with my family and we were blessed to have exceptionally good weather and could get out for walks and runs to keep us physically and mentally healthy.

Now 7 months later there is talk of another lockdown as numbers infected by Covid 19 continue to rise. I hope that this will not happen. I hope that the children can continue going to school and that adults can continue learning in their classes.  Many people lost their jobs and businesses during the previous lockdown so I hope this does not happen again. For others the isolation affected their mental health and now with winter drawing in this could have devastating effects.

However, one positive I can take away from this is how technology has helped keep us all connected. I learnt to embrace new technologies in order to be able to work from home and to stay connected with my work colleagues, my extended family and my friends. Suddenly ‘zoom and web ex’ became buzzwords; WhatsApp, video calls, Kahoot quizzes were all new essentials.

I will still always prefer to speak face to face with people but I’m happy to know that I can always make a phone call if I want to speak to someone and a video call if I want to see their face.

No-one knows what the rest of 2020 will hold so let’s look out for each other, build each other up, and hope that 2021 will be a better year. Stay safe and stay well everyone.

Click to listen to Veronica reading her story below: