The handwritten message, carefully stuck to the window for those on the outside to read, was one of dozens.
"Dear God, I would like you to do all you can to stop this virus and send us good weather so we can sit outside," it read.
Another, just below it, was to Muriel and Madeline: "I'm doing well and miss you. Looking forward to you visiting again, whenever that may be. I love you."
For the residents of Friar's Lodge nursing home, the authors of the many messages pinned to the window of their home in Ballymore, Co Mayo, Covid-19 has seen them cocooned away from their loved ones for many weeks. Visits have stopped. There are no more hugs and kisses. The tender touch of a family member a distant memory.
Against this stark backdrop, they are a cohort that has become known as Ireland's most vulnerable in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. as of Friday, 288 people have died from the coronavirus in Ireland, ranging in age from 32 to 105. In one Dublin nursing home alone, there have been more than eight deaths.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan revealed around 156 of the deaths from the virus have involved residents of nursing homes or residential centres.
There have been 135 clusters out of 550 nursing homes. Some one in five of the residents and one in six staff were diagnosed with the virus.
Around the country, behind the walls of the settings that have not yet had a positive case, staff are valiantly battling to keep a deadly visitor breaching the perimeter.
"From a social point of view, it's had a huge impact on our residents," Pamela Dalton, director of nursing at Friar's Lodge, told the Irish Independent.
"We are used to having open visiting hours, where people can come and go through the day and evening, so this has been quite isolating. I know they have the staff here supporting them, but [the residents] miss their families. They are all very healthy thank God and they are very supportive. They have said, 'Don't let visitors in,' and we have told them we won't."
Like Friar's Lodge, the residents and staff at Carrigoran House in Co Clare are virus-free. Visitor restrictions were put in place on March 6, following the advice of Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI). As the facility virtually closed its doors to outsiders, the gravity of the situation in the outside world was not lost on residents.
"They are very aware of the danger and what's out there," said Geraldine Doona, director of nursing at Carrigoran House.
"I remember going in to one particular lady and she had the news on, the radio on, the newspaper in front of her and she was very fearful. She said, 'Oh my God, they are telling us that we are all going to die.' She was tearful and she was upset."
With 105 residents to care for and 135 staff to manage, Ms Doona has her hands full. She shed tears when news first broke of an outbreak in an Irish nursing home and admits that she isn't getting much sleep.
While day-to-day life continues, the implementation of strict and necessary changes has been unavoidable in the efforts to protect those under her care.
Activities are taking place in socially distanced, smaller groups. Mealtimes, when residents would eat and chat four at a table, now see them gather in tables of two. Staff have their temperatures taken twice a day and handwashing, standard practice before, is now a constant ritual.
"Morale is very good at the minute," said Ms Doona.
"Obviously, there is a level of anxiety for every member of staff, not just for their own safety but the safety of their families.
"They are also acutely aware that their actions can have a negative impact on residents if they don't do everything by the book. But everything we have brought in they have embraced wholeheartedly."
In the housekeeping department of the dementia unit, Tina Murray has ramped up efforts to keep infection at bay. She had been doing extra shifts to help with efforts to keep residents safe, but extra staff have alleviated the pressure.
"I'm cleaning, cleaning, cleaning," she said.
"We have had a lot of training on access points- handrails, door handles, key codes. The focus is on high risk areas like corridors or activity rooms. We have been flat out."
In the same unit, where staff are dedicated to caring for residents with dementia, Paula McCarthy is the activities co-ordinator.
"It's obviously harder to implement change when it comes to someone with dementia," she said.
"I did have a dementia patient with me yesterday and she was upset. We did a WhatsApp call and her daughter was emotional too, but after a while the resident was less agitated and more at ease. You just have to try and reassure them, live in the moment with them and get them through it."
With a sense of renewed energy, Ms McCarthy and the team at the home have risen to the Covid-19 challenge. Technology is now a friend, with online concerts taking place once a week and Facetime calls to loved ones helping residents feel connected. With dementia patients, this sense of routine is vital to survival.
"It would be the loss of their old routine that would cause anxiety," she said.
"I don't know how, but they just have sense. They know after dinner that someone's coming around. They would have that person who comes in and collects their laundry, that deals with their affairs, do all the little things like bringing shampoos and all of that.
"That sense of awareness of family is missing at the minute."
Staff at Carrigoran have rallied since Covid-19 put the facility on lockdown. In an effort to keep residents positive and their families reassured, a number of innovative activities, including a virtual Rosary and hall bingo, have become part of the new normal.
"I'm delighted to be getting such good care," said resident Pauline Guerin (79).
"I know the world is miserable with this awful virus, which is an awful pity, but we are safe and happy here. I have family that would normally come to see me and I miss them. But I don't intend letting this virus get me down."
Her contact with her daughter has been maintained with regular Skype calls. Residents also have phones in their room, so a loved one is always only a phonecall away.
However, it's not unusual for residents in their 80s and older to have outlived all of their friends and relatives, including, in many instances, their own children.
For these men and women in Carrigoran House, contact with staff and volunteers is the only human interaction they may have.
In a nursing home, where touch is very much part of the care residents receive, it has been hard to deal with a more hands-off approach.
"We are very much aware of those residents who have no family at present," said Ms Doona.
"They would have a special bond with staff, who they would see as being family themselves. Volunteers can't come in at the minute, so staff make sure they don't feel isolated. Here that means keeping the chat going, having the laughter still being heard in the hallways.
"It's very difficult for the staff because their natural intuition is to go and hug and the residents themselves, because they see a happy face, automatically go to hug you as well."
Although social distancing has made it harder to offer that physical interaction, synonymous with the type of care the elderly need, the feeling of being loved and cared for can be experienced in other ways.
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"It's about trying to do best you can, encouraging the residents to do the same," said Ms Doona.
"All the staff share the same aim, to make sure the residents feel loved, cared for and safe and protected. Yes, physical touch is so, so important for everybody in here, but a smile, a chat, some banter, that stuff continues. It's even more important now."
For now, she and her team are closely adhering to NHI guidelines and following the advice of the HSE.
Remaining under lockdown is crucial at this time, but for some residents, it exacerbates a known crisis faced by all nursing homes: loneliness. Compounding this loneliness is the likelihood that spouses and children of patients won't be allowed to visit their loved ones in the weeks to come.
Hilary Home (82) has a daughter who used to visit every lunchtime.
"I love those visits," she said this week.
"My daughter would bring me magazines and that kind of thing, but I wouldn't want anything because I just wanted her.
"I would be worried about this virus, not that I would get it, just the isolation of it."
For her, the sudden change in routine has left her with more time to think about times gone by. Life under lockdown, as it does for many, has made her yearn for the person she loves the most.
"I miss my husband," she said.
"That's what I miss. He's dead 10 years in January. This virus makes me think about the situation I'm in and that makes me think about him. I just miss him."
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