Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A sign at Garter Lane Theatre, Waterford city.

 

‘We should be as deliberate, as we are with our health and that of those around us, with where we choose to spend our money in the coming weeks and months. Think Waterford, think local.’

 

THE beautiful, beaming smile of Patricia Kelly (nee Denn), from Waterside, Waterford city, reflects the life of a lady for whom all the positive superlatives were invented. She was fun and glamorous. She was brave, long, long before Coronavirus was even on the horizon far away in China. She was adventurous and loyal.

Patricia survived the dreaded disease diphtheria as a child, she lived through the Emergency of the Second World War. As a young woman she struck out for New York, before eventually returning home and marrying her dear love Pat.

Her story reflects poignantly and evocatively that the tragedy of Covid-19 goes far beyond the numbers of dead revealed on RTE’s evening news bulletins. Hers was a life lived to the full, and she was deeply cherished by her family and friends.

Coronavirus is a lonely path when it strikes, but it does not define the lives of those who have so unfortunately succumbed to it. This week, in the Waterford News & Star, we celebrate Patricia’s life and her deep love of Waterford, where she returned for every holiday. We celebrate a woman who was not merely a statistic of Covid-19.

As we enter the last week of the lockdown, we can be hopeful in Waterford that Phase 1 of the easing of restrictions from May 18th will commence our slow, determined way out of this health crisis. With only one person currently an inpatient in University Hospital Waterford with Covid-19, and the numbers of those testing positive for the disease in Waterford remaining very low, we should have confidence now that our behaviour in maintaining social distancing and sticking rigidly to the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team guidelines is having a very significant, postive impact.

We will take baby steps into the next phase, and again into the phase after that, slowly and deliberately reopening our businesses and restarting our economy.

We have had plenty of time to reflect – including on our spending habits. With this in mind, we should be as deliberate, as we are with our health and that of those around us, with where we choose to spend our money in the coming weeks and months. Think Waterford, think local.

At a community level, the outpouring of support for Pieta’s Sunrise event, by individuals, families and organisations – in particular local sports clubs – shows just how powerful our sense of common purpose can be. When we pull together we are a force, and one to be reckoned with.

It will be through this unity of purpose that we will continue to flatten out Covid-19 in Waterford, saving countless lives, and rebuild an economy from which we can all thrive.

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