Life during Covid: Two Foals

By Kathleen O’Doherty

Kathleen O’Doherty is a school secretary in Letterkenny, County Donegal and an officer of Fórsa trade union. Kathleen has been a leading voice on fairness and equity for school secretaries for almost two decades. Here she writes about her perspectives on life during Covid.

Life is lived differently in these stressful and challenging times.

Challenging yes and with it brings all sorts of problems, hard and stressful situations to all homes. Different, difficult scenarios from one house to another. Although apart we are all living through this  strange time together.

Working from home can bring its own tensions but on the other hand has many advantages.

Take our union branch. School secretaries across the country are carrying out different levels of work from home. It’s no secret there is variation in their pay and conditions, each employee having their own ‘setup’ with many depending on the size of their school and other factors.

That said, we are getting on with it and making the most of being at home.

Home can be both interesting and rewarding. Certainly so for my branch colleague Luisa Carty in Galway (pictured above), who was elected as chair of the School Secretaries Branch at our AGM in February, which feels like a very long time ago now.

Her experience is a reminder too of the beauty and wonder of the world around us.

Luisa and I have been keeping regular contact about branch issues throughout the Covid-19 restrictions.

At the end of each conversation I ask how she’s coping and each time she amazes me with the array of other jobs she’s involved in, both in her community and her own home.

Today she sent me a video of  two beautiful young  foals and their mothers running playing in the fields. The fact that Luisa had delivered these foals by herself didn’t seem to phase her.  Her humble attitude speaks volumes.

Her experience is a reminder too of the beauty and wonder of the world around us. Something to focus on when the stress of these difficult times weighs a little too heavily upon us.

Kathleen O’Doherty, 29th April 2020.

Photo courtesy of Luisa Carty.

Kathleen suggested to Fórsa that the union publish some ‘feelgood’ stories in our news bulletins and on our website, and to encourage members to share uplifting stories that could help cheer us all up. We love the idea. Have you got a story you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line to this address with ‘Life during Covid’ in the subject heading.