With our new reality sinking in, and for lockdowns being in effect all over the world for the last few months, here at Girl Museum, we wanted to recognize this time in our lives, and in history. This is the second in a series of blogs where the senior staff of Girl Museum reflect on their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be posting weekly reflections here, continuing with Contributing Writer Michelle O’Brien in Ireland.

I live in Dublin, Ireland and on the 12th of March our Prime Minister announced a series of closures including the tourism sector. I work at a major tourist site in Dublin and the following day our department was told to work from home. (Side note; on the 14th of March we had almost 3,000 emails in our inbox!). 

I share a house in Dublin with four other people including one woman who works in a hospital. As I don’t drive I was concerned that a full lockdown would be ordered similar to Italy and Spain and I didn’t want to get stranded in Dublin. I decided to move back to my mother’s house over two hours away. Her house is incredibly rural so I figured my odds of getting sick were much lower there. (We’re so rural that the Wi-Fi only works in two rooms of the house). 

Working from home took a bit of adjusting to. I had never worked from home before so l’ve had to create a routine that works. For me this includes getting dressed every day, putting on make-up and having a designated “work area” (I have taken over the kitchen table). It’s not really the same working away without my co-workers; however, I don’t miss my 90 minute commute to and from work!

I was working as normal, but recently our hours have been cut as has our pay. I know I’m lucky to have been working for so long during this but this news was still upsetting. Our Prime Minister has advised that tourist sites can reopen in the middle of July; I’m hoping that this will be sooner though!

I have stopped watching the nightly news and only check Twitter for updates at lunch. I found that reading about COVID-19 while having my morning coffee was making me anxious for the rest of the day. 

One positive of this is that I have more time to myself. As I mentioned I normally have a 90 minute commute to and from work so my usual state was one of tiredness. Over the past few weeks I have caught up on my Netflix list and have been able to read for hours every day. It has made me consider what I really want to do for a living. I don’t think changing roles will be possible for a while but hopefully employment opportunities will come up when everything settles down. 

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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