By Maria Burke, RN, Owner, Celtic Angels Home Health Care

The past year has been challenging in so many ways. No one was left untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that meant adapting to lockdown restrictions, facing the loneliness of being apart from loved ones, or grappling with illness and loss of a loved one or friend.

Grieving Loss And Separation

To date, more than 130 million people have contracted COVID-19 and so many have passed from the virus. Our seniors are most at-risk from COVID, but the necessary precautions we needed to take to protect their health and lives also led to experiencing a level of isolation they never knew before. I have not seen my own mother in more than 18 months. My native country of Ireland is still in lockdown. Residents are unable to travel more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from their homes without a guard stopping them. The next phase will only allow them to travel within their own counties. They don’t have the vaccination program we do here in the U.S.  I can say, like many of you, I miss my mother and other family members terribly. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and other illnesses but have been unable to say a proper goodbye.

Surviving A Dark Time

We at Celtic Angels Home Health Care want to acknowledge that this has been a dark and difficult time and to express our sincere empathy for everyone who has endured loss, separation, and isolation. But we also want to highlight the resiliency of the human spirit that we have witnessed over the past year.  Millions have not only survived the pandemic but have grown in their own strength and reached out to help others. They should be acknowledged.

Recognizing The Unsung Heroes

Doctors and nurses willingly risked their own lives to travel to hotspots and treat COVID patients. Schools rallied to provide meals to students who couldn’t meet in person. And millions of people reached out to make sure neighbors and loved ones had the necessities they needed or simply took the time to provide comfort through a video chat. I’d particularly like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard, often with little recognition. Grocery store workers returned to work each day despite the risk to their own health. Janitors and cleaning crews were tasked with cleaning and sanitizing in high-risk situations but were not compensated with high-level salaries. Healthcare professionals worked around the clock through one of the darkest times in our histories. They were often unable to see their own families while trying to save others. Most of all, I want to thank all my caregivers for taking such incredible care of our patients. We couldn’t have gotten through this without you. Know that you brought light into a dark time.

Looking Forward To The Future

The human spirit is incredible. Times like this show us just how strong we really are. It may have felt like this pandemic would never end, but at last, with vaccines and widespread inoculation, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Here at Celtic Angels Home Health Care, we have missed coming together for our annual events, like our St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and our Christmas Party. We look forward to them every year and are happy to think of holding them again in the near future. Let’s make an effort to focus on the newness of the world and the resiliency and strength so many of us have demonstrated this past year. Happy times are yet to come, and we look forward to sharing them with you.

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