The Egg Chair

I would like to tell you a story about an Egg Chair, but first I must go back to the beginning of the most extraordinary time of my life.

2020 started with great excitement. A new decade to embrace. The weather was pretty awful. Mostly cold and wet. It rained a lot in January and February 2020. We were so looking forward to the Spring.

In late February news started to filter out of China of a new Virus that was killing people. By early March we were hearing a lot more about this Virus or Covid 19 as we heard it was called. Others called it Corona Virus. By the second week in March it became quite clear that the virus was now in Europe and Italy had been hit really bad. It had been skiing season and many people from all other Europe had been skiing there. They in turn unbeknown to themselves carried the infection home to their own countries. And so it began.

Friday 13th May all Irish Schools were shut down for two weeks to help curve the virus.

The following Tuesday St Patricks day which had also been cancelled arrived. We were all in isolation by then. Our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar held an “Address to the Nation at 6pm”. Every ear in the country was listening to his speech. It was quiet emotional as he explained what was going to happen going forward and that people would die. Older people over 70 and people with other illness were told to Cocoon. Everywhere started to close down. Panic buying ensued. Toilet paper was number one on everyones list. (To this day no one knows why).

On March 27th Ireland was placed on full lockdown. The virus spreading rapidly. Washing

Hands became a must as was sanitising.  It was a really scary time for everyone and people scrambled to ensure our elderly were looked after or moved to relations homes. No one was allowed to enter their homes except front line Workers.

We were allowed to go 2km from your home. I was really lucky. The beach was within 2 km. If you really wanted to keep fit you could run / walk 12km in that 2km radius.

Our new lives began. You had to queue outside Supermarkets and keep 2metres from each other.  People were very anxious and not speaking to each other. Most people wore masks.

So the long days and nights continued. Waiting to see what the daily rate was and how many more people had died that day from Covid. So the Internet became our lives. Zoom became our way of keeping in touch with family and friends. Classes were carried out from it. Children were home Schooled and were not allowed out to play or into Supermarkets. You might say how lucky they were, but it not like that. They did not see anyone only their families and really missed their friends and what their lives were before this happened. No Celebrations, Birthday Parties etc.

We all found ways to cheer ourselves up. The Summer was coming. The skies had never been so blue. The Birds oh how the birds sang. Foxes walking around Cities streets. Nature was at its best. No flying no driving, no pollution. Fish back in our rivers.

One day I decided to treat myself. My Holidays had all been cancelled. My daughter’s wedding on the 24th April had been postponed. All weddings were cancelled. Funerals only allowed 10 people to attend at 2m apart.  The home cooking and eating had eased off.

I spotted an outdoor Chair called an Egg Chair on the Internet for sale. It was like a Cocooning Chair with a swing. I put in my offer end April. I spent a long time choosing the colour and where I would position it when it arrived, after all I had all the time in the world. I finally choose a white chair with grey cushions.  I was told the chairs were delayed until 15th May. Every day I checked. All I could talk about was the chair and where I was putting it. It nearly became a person to me at this stage. I so wanted to meet it.  The time passed slowly. I was then told it was now delayed to the end of May. I had at this stage put my name down hundreds of times and hundreds of times more.  You see all the painting that could be done was done with what paint we had.  Paint was now like the new Toilet rolls. Impossible to get as everyone was painting. If you stood still long enough you would have been painted. We had to use our imagination for everything as all you could buy was food. Our creativity was amazing.

The day finally arrived. They were delivering in my area that day. I waited and waited all day all evening but sadly my very own cocooning Egg chair never arrived.

I believe in normal times you would say oh well next time. We were not living in normal times we were living in extraordinary times and so it was a bitter pill to swallow.

We are now in our 2nd week of Phase 1.  The Hardware shops are open. Still a shortage of paint. Other shops are slowly opening. The daily figures are really down. The deaths are also down. We will have to go through 5 stages before we are allowed to return to our new normal. Nobody knows at this stage what that will be. I will be delighted to have a cup coffee or lunch with friends. Social distancing is the new problem now.

I know we are living through History right now. History is in the making.  I still have no Egg Chair but I am alive to tell you my story.

Isn’t that so much more important.

So I will say goodbye and sign off on the 29th May 2020.

Bernadette Fitzgerald


Co Wicklow

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