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Living alone during Covid: 'There's a big difference between a quiet night in by yourself and 200 of them'

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Kevin Beirne at his home in Sandycove. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Kevin Beirne at his home in Sandycove. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Kevin Beirne at his home in Sandycove. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It's been two years since I made the choice to return to Ireland and live by myself. After four years in London, I'd grown sick of the endless noise of the city, the uncaring crowds of people and the lack of any personal space on the tube. So when the opportunity arose to move back to Dublin and have a place to myself by the sea, it seemed like a perfect fit.

The first 18 months left me feeling freer than I'd ever felt. But the last seven have seen all that freedom evaporate under the burning light of the "new normal", like some kind of ironic punishment.

You want some time to yourself? Great, we cancelled all your plans for you. You moved back to be closer to your friends? Well, they're nearby, but you'll have to video call them if you all want to hang out together. You missed the sea while you were away? Excellent, because half the 5km area you can travel to during lockdown is underwater.