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The Coronadiaries 1
Wednesday 7th October 2020 @ 11:09 pm

I detest the ‘silver–lining’ of things.

That obsequious ignorance of abject horror,


precisely because it is too horrible to engage,

seeds prevention and pretense,

rather than authentic understanding and action.





I cannot for one second say that today has not seen beauty in places.

In the midst of the shock of getting a positive test for coronavirus, a few things have warmed my heart and made me laugh. For the record, it was a shock – I got the test after a weekend sore thoat and sore head … no coughing, no loss of taste. Then on Monday/Tuesday I had 20 rough hours. I still thought, ‘man I hate the flu.’ But with all the unmissable attention coronavirus is getting, and after seeing my temperature rise substantially (although it also came down substantially) I decided out of an abundance of caution to get the test.

I did not expect it to be positive.

I really didn’t.

The worst bit was not physical symptoms – the worst bit was telling the women in my life. My finance and then my mother. In her late 80’s, my mother has been very circumspect – and unlike me was not particularly shocked. Everything though, then had to change at lightening speed – visits cancelled, family isolating, temperatures taken. I will not forget my mother struggling toward the front door and shouting through the glass at a neighbour who had been knocking, “I can’t open the door, sorry, we have the virus!!!”

It was all very medieval.  


Telling my fiancé on the phone was an altogether different affair.

My shock was palpable to her.


Picture the opening 30 seconds from her end of the phone


‘He doesn’t usually call in the morning???’

“Hey …”

silence …

[my face etched with shock and sadness as I have been so close to her and the kids over the weekend] …

“we need to talk”

… tears in my eyes ….


Yes, you have it … she thought I was calling up to call off the wedding.

You’ll be happy to know I told her that was never going to happen.

But if in some other universe it was to happen, and it happened by me picking up the phone, she then had permission to take a baseball bat to my head.


For me it was the shame of putting her and the children in risk that dug so deep. She has symptoms and is being tested. She is very gracious and reminded me we have no idea who might have caught it from whom or from where. It’s all a strange strange thing. But the human relationships – relationships that are at one and the same time dangerous to health, as well as necessary for health – remain central and vital.

They are essential and vulnerable.

All at once.


It’s relationships that have stood out today. Not only the ones above, also my immediate family who with one WhatsApp message had to rearrange their lives.

It is also, and maybe especially, the hundreds of people showing they give a damn.

Connecting through FB.

Sending messages.

Writing emails.

Making creative contact in a world that does not allow physical contact –

these are the things I can’t quite get over.


People are kind.

People are good.

And if you’re reading this, it’s you I’m talking about.


Thank you thank you thank you

for kindness shown

and for encouraging messages.

They create a HUGE amount of warmth in my soul

and they invite me once more to be amazed at humanity being deeply beautifully human.


To not feel alone,

while isolated,

is sheer beauty.


And then there are the genius messages that I know I’ll remember for a long time. Such as the one from a Trinity scientist friend, currently keeping Ireland informed and safe on all things coronavirus, who when he heard I had tested positive, responds:

“Well, you always were so positive”


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