Editor Allen Meagher recounts his experience during the Covid lockdown. No more than anyone else, he really wasn’t prepared for a pandemic.

By Allen Meagher

Since Covid, many people’s lives have changed irrevocably. Thousands of people across Ireland have experienced unexpected bereavement and we sympathise with each family over their losses. Thankfully, through our actions, tens of thousands of lives at risk were also saved.
The lockdown was a time when people across Ireland looked out especially for each other, while trusting that our Government got it right. We looked to family, neighbours, voluntary groups, our community and advocates for the voiceless. Many tens of thousands stepped forward to volunteer, or wished to do so.
All along, I wanted to have a national picture of how communities were doing – and share it – but I was in the dark like others. The pandemic took a stronger grip on me than I could get on the story. Everyone’s experience was different. This was mine.

Episode 1 : “I waved bye-bye to Moyross – with most of the office computer and camera equipment in my car. …In 20 years, I had only once lost the feel for what was happening in Moyross, or in Ireland’s communities at large, or the community sector generally.”

Episode 2 : “Community groups trust ‘Changing Ireland’. They would welcome the attention, knowing we understood. I could see clearly how our journalism might be helpful. But… the relief on those first days of lockdown was shortlived for us. It lasted about 48 hours.”

Episode 3 : “Nationally, we’ve had stellar leadership and I hope that can continue, but even Leo was saying he expects it to get more fractious… There are very big tests ahead for Ireland and community is to the fore. B.S. must be called out and reported. Not everyone is in this equally and everyone’s story is different.”

To everyone in their various struggles over the recent months, I hope you and yours grew stronger from it.

If you have a Covid story to share with ‘Changing Ireland’, email: editor@changingireland.ie