Let’s focus on all the possibilities a post-Covid 2022 has to offer

Covid cases are spiking, and, due to grave concerns directly relating to the threat posed by this Omicron variant, tighter rules restricting our social lives have now been imposed by the Government. Bah humbug! Chaos, heartbreak, despair…congratulations Covid, I’d say your work here is finally done!

  In place since Monday, these restrictions, which will see bars and restaurants placed under an 8 pm curfew until the end of January, have served to deliver a massive kick in the gut to everyone who works, or who has now possibly lost, their living within the hospitality sector. My heart goes out to you all.

  Like everyone, I was looking forward to having a fun, fabulous, good old-fashioned family Christmas with my loved ones, and, while my intentions were never to ‘go on the lash’, this 8 pm curfew (which I haven’t been under since I was 10-years-old), has certainly scuttled those plans.

  Indeed, given the Taoiseach’s stark warnings, it’s fair to say that this week, it’s going to be very hard for everyone to imagine a more sober run-up to what should have been our most wonderful time of the year! Personally, I’m so bored, I’m considering leaving a pile of Booker prize-winning novels beside the bed so that, in the event of me actually dying from a complete lack of social interaction, I’ll at least look intelligent when someone finally finds me!

  On the bright side, (and there is one), despite these tight restrictions this variant brings, the health situation, (due to many being vaccinated), is arguably better than it was last Christmas. Then again, when you imagine that most families will  once more be forced to spend the majority of this festive season huddled together in the same confined space, locked into a routine of avoiding everyone outside of their ‘social bubble’, I’m worried that something, somewhere might finally give!

  I’m willing to bet, fellow inmates, that, right now, on top of us all suffering from extreme pandemic fatigue, we’re also experiencing feelings of loss directly relating to this substantial reduction of our freedoms. To that end, as celebrating yet another muted Christmas is bound to add significant pressure to an already stressed situation – with this latest turn of events causing our happiness levels to fall, and our stress levels to rise – may I suggest readers might try the following:

  When you hear people saying it’s a ‘difficult time’, try to focus on the fact that this is exactly what it is…a time…and it will pass.

  Try to remember all that’s good in your life; and, no matter how big or small, (and, in order to keep yourself focused in a positive direction), write them down and stick it on the fridge with a festive magnet!

  Try to understand that, despite this enormous emotional struggle, we are all in this together…well those of us who’re sticking to the rules are. If you find yourself going into a global meltdown, take a few deep breaths, look back on the past two years and congratulate yourself for the way in which you’ve managed to approach and handle all that has been thrown at you. I suggest, if you can, go out and buy yourself a little gift; something you’d love to receive from somebody else.

  When we’re clear of this pandemic, and we will be, there’ll be a whole lot of living for us all to catch up on.

  While we may currently be in mourning for our pre-pandemic Christmases, I suggest that rather than consuming ourselves with fear, dread, anxiety and anger, instead, why not decide to keep our focus on the New Year and all of the wonderful possibilities that a post-Covid 2022 has to offer. Nollaig shona daoibh go léir, go mbeannaí daoibh.

It’s the most woeful telly of the year!

When it comes to ratings, Christmas TV listings have more or less become something of an ‘arms race’, with festive viewing figures being reported as news headlines. And rightly so! Licence-payers not only expect, rather they deserve to have their attention diverted away from concerns about all things relating to this pandemic!

  However, if RTÉ believes rolling out Tommy Tiernan, the saccharine-sweet Daniel O’Donnell, Mrs. Brown’s Boys, the 2 Johnnies and, (quick, pass me the puke bucket), the abysmal duo that is Dermot Whelan and Doireann Garrihy is going to provide me with distraction and escapism, they’re seriously mistaken! In fact, our national broadcaster could not have got it more wrong, and it leads me to wonder what kind of amadáns they’re taking us for? The only saving grace is the hilarious Oliver Callan.

  Following what has been a massively underwhelming year, I would have thought that our national broadcaster would have at least attempted to pull their socks up! Oh no…true to form, and, in my opinion laziness, RTÉ has managed to turn the most wonderful time of the year into the most woeful telly of the year.

  It’s going to take me a long time to forgive them for thinking they could tease me away from Netflix with shows entitled Mammy’s Mechanical Merriment and Mammy’s Mickey. I feel a sarcastic and very crude comment coming on here but I don’t wish to shock our poor editor!

Downloading free Emcall App could save your life!

While this newspaper is always chock-full of entertaining and informative items, I have to say a piece – carried on Page 17 of last week’s edition – provided what I believe to be something of vital importance. Why? Because it gave readers an opportunity to download a free App called EmCall which, when activated, can help users get vital life-saving information and help, should they need it.

  I would urge all readers, if they can, to download this nifty and totally free App, because, given the times we’re living in and the stresses being placed on both ourselves and our emergency services, having something like this, literally to hand, is not just sensible, it’s vital. Myself and himself have both downloaded EmCall, and I can tell you the entire process literally took 30 seconds of our time.  That’s 30 seconds that could help to save your life!

  Well done, and thank you to everyone involved in both providing and supporting this community initiative.


I ho-ho-hope you have a wonderful Christmas

I feel incredibly blessed to be able to bring you this column; thank you so much for putting up with me and for reading my ‘musings’ each week. While I know these past two years have been incredibly tough on all of us, I hope and pray that this Christmas brings each and every one of us happiness, health, joy, and an abundance of hope for a safer, pandemic-free 2022. We all deserve it.