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Coronavirus Diaries: The Cork yoga teacher who’s worried about her elderly mother

12th Mar 2020

A business owner and yoga teacher from Cork shares some of the worries that are playing on her mind

Is this really happening? It’s hard to believe. I have been telling myself the media is overreacting and we are not in a reality apocalyptic TV show, but it’s feeling more real by the day.

I am not immunosuppressed myself; I have no chronic illness and I’m not unduly worried for myself. But I am worried about older family members, friends with chronic conditions and the thoughts of going into self-isolation or the country going into Italian-style lockdown.

I am self-employed with two businesses; one involves me providing various remote support services to professionals in the medical industry. This means I work from home and from co-working spaces. So far so good. I am working from home in this capacity anyway and don’t come into contact with patients. However, if the patients decide to put their non-urgent healthcare needs to the side for now, my clients won’t need my support and I won’t have that income.

My second business is my yoga startup. While I am still 4 months away from qualification, I do teach 1 to 1 classes in my home. So far no one has cancelled any sessions. I am doubling down on my cleaning and will be asking clients to bring their own yoga mats, towels etc. instead of using my equipment. Inconvenient but important. I have corporate clients lined up in the coming months and clearly that now hangs in the balance. If there are concerns, they are not going to want to bring groups of employees together in one room.

I saw some studios are actually disposing of all their yoga mats which is a real shame

All the yoga studios and gyms I attend myself are taking a similar approach regarding extra hygiene. In my opinion, yoga studios are some of the cleanest, least cluttered places you will see anyway. Most studios are no longer offering yoga mat rentals. I saw some studios are actually disposing of all their yoga mats which is a real shame, but they need to do what they feel is right for the health and safety of their clients.

I am still going to classes and to the gym as normal. Exercise boosts the immune system and I am trying to focus on that and not on the negativity. I am failing miserably at not touching my face. As regards yoga teacher training, it is still scheduled to go ahead in the coming weeks, and I hope it stays that way if at all possible, only if it’s safe for everyone involved.

One of my brothers was due to visit Dublin from the US this month but his visit had to be cancelled as his partner has been asked by her employer to refrain from international travel. This is disappointing for everyone. My main concern though is for my mother who is in her 80s and so in an at-risk group. As well as the threat of the virus itself, I’m worried about the negative effect the non-stop media coverage, general pessimism and scaremongering in some parts of traditional media will have on her wellbeing and the wellbeing of older persons generally.

I noticed that some of the senior citizens community events such as coffee mornings and cinema trips have been cancelled, which will increase the feeling of isolation in vulnerable older persons.

I also have a close relative in a nursing home which has understandably closed itself to visitors. I am extremely concerned about the mental health of my relative who is not going to be able to comprehend why there have been no visitors. I don’t believe it will be for a two-week period, I feel it will be extended and the longer-term risks to mental health may be greater than the physical risk of my visiting.

Money can be borrowed or earned in the future; mortgage payments can be put on hold at the end of the day.

This is just my opinion and I am not medically trained! These are the things that are playing on my mind more than loss of income if I’m being really honest. Money can be borrowed or earned in the future; mortgage payments can be put on hold at the end of the day.

Every group chat I am in is talking about Coronavirus and I’m sharing the funnier memes while at the same time getting really agitated at the gossip and the unfounded rumours. I honestly think Irish people love drama, and I am guilty too.

Twitter and Facebook are the same and I just feel bombarded at every turn. Should we keep calm and carry on or react/overreact and panic? It’s hard to know. Maybe it’s time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

If you want to be featured anonymously in our Coronavirus Diaries series, contact [email protected]

Read more:  Coronavirus Diaries: The 28-year-old graphic designer from Dublin who’s living in self-isolation

Read more:  The psychology behind panic-buying (and how to stop it)

Read more:  10 things to do at home with the kids with the schools closing for coronavirus

Photo: Unsplash