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Lockdown Letters

Lockdown Letters: 'Maybe when all of this ends, a less selfish and self-obsessed society will emerge'

Seamus Hanratty (35) from Co Monaghan calls for a kinder society post Covid-19 through a Lockdown Letter and poem


As the coronavirus slowly began to tighten its grip on my hometown of Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan, I sought solace amongst the ancient mountains that populate the border region.

And even with the tighter new restrictions, whereby these mountains can't be reached, there are many lakes, forests, and parks in the nearby vicinity where people can soothe their minds and safely adhere to social distancing.

After the initial feeding frenzy of panic that we witnessed throughout the globe, it dawned on me that as the eyes of history rest on our shoulders, do we want to be remembered as being the generation of the “the great toilet roll panic” or something more worthwhile?

Instead of the ‘me, me and me' philosophy that infects the modern world, going forward, we might be bold enough to spare an occasional thought for our fellow man and woman.

Who knows - maybe when all of this ends, a new world will be carved out. A less selfish and self-obsessed society will emerge, where instead of hoarding everything for ourselves in a frenzy of unrestrained gluttony, narcissism, and materialism, people will stop for a second and will ask their neighbour, “Are you all right, do you need a helping hand?”

Poem: 'Nature's sanctuary'

To see the face of God in a rising sun

And the hope of a future in a twinkling star

To feel the power of true wealth when not one dime rests in your hand

And wish for nothing but the moment at hand

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To stop and stand still and hear the chords of heaven in a trickle of water.

Oh Erin's ancient land of sorrow, legend and lore

Hypnotise me with sparkling waters and clear blue skies

Capture me in a web of mountains, rivers, and whispering trees

Wrap my arms in Slieve Gullions embrace

Feed my soul with natures chorus

Of Blackbirds, thrushes, robins, and angels of all kinds

Awaken my senses amidst Castles, Forts, Dolmens and secrets of unspoken kind

Shroud me in your lush green grass, These hills the canvas on which we toil

For this is nature's great sanctuary a shelter from pandemic fear.

We are living history. The challenges posed by Covid 19 are similar the world over but everybody’s experience of this emergency will be different. In this special series, ‘Lockdown Letters' gives our readers at home and across the globe an opportunity to share their stories about how the Coronavirus and the measures to tackle its spread are impacting their lives in these unprecedented times.

Please email your submission (400 words max.) to stories@independent.ie along with a photograph. We will publish as many letters as possible on Independent.ie and a selection in print every week.

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