Amy’s story: Living in a high-risk household

Amy’s story: Living in a high-risk household

Monday, 14 December 2020

Amy, 22, a Jigsaw volunteer from Limerick shares her experience of the pandemic.

My experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been somewhat different to that of my peers, as I am living in a high-risk household. A member of my family is currently undergoing chemotherapy which compromises their health immensely. Because of this, myself and the other members of my family are not only responsible for our own health, but for their health too.

The feeling of responsibility for someone else’s health is a difficult feeling to put into words. I did not feel much pressure and frustration during the first lockdown as everyone was in the same boat. I oddly felt safer and more relaxed knowing that everyone was undertaking the necessary precautions.

Coping with Christmas this year

However, as Christmas approaches and the country gradually opens up, I find myself frustrated with my peers and young people in general. I watch Instagram stories of “secret house-parties”, foreign holidays and see the number of cases constantly rising.

Young people have been getting a bad reputation in the media. And I think it is unfair to blame them as a whole, when it is only a small minority choosing not to take this seriously. Most young people have the luxury of having health on their side.

However, for people in my family’s situation, we do not have this luxury. This is quite a frightening period. At times it is challenging not to take it out on my friends as they plan their unofficial Christmas parties.

I have to remind myself they don’t know what it is like to have this responsibility. They are just trying to get their lives back and I cannot push them away because of that. A combination of exercise, meditation, less social media and staying in contact with my friends over the phone helps me to cope during this frustrating time.

A young woman smiling at the camera

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