WE KEPT OUR CHRISTMAS lights turned off for several days during this Christmas season to honour two neighbours who died in their homes on our street. Their passing, along with continued COVID-19 restrictions, marked Christmas 2020 as the darkest in my lifetime.
I hadn't realised how empty I would feel without Christmas parties at work or pub meet-ups with friends during the month of December. Phone calls and text messages and video chats aren't the same. They don't bring the same warm light as traditional Christmas celebrations. I felt nervous during our single shopping trip to Mahon Point in Cork when we mingled with twenty times the normal amount of people under one roof. Sure, the setting was deemed safe by public health standards but I was aware of the risk just by mingling with hundreds of people.
I hope we can return to the sound of buskers and to the cacophony of people sharing stories while walking the laneways and sidewalks in town.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Limerick Institute of Technology.]