What We Owe

By Rick Rossiter


As a person who has been dealing with a mental health illness for over 30yrs my mental fortitude has evolved over the years for the better and thankfully I have found many ways to keep my mental state strong and health, but with recent events such as with Covid-19, this world-wide pandemic this resilience that I have built up over time has been tested and found wanting. Plus, with my own mental health coming under a new form of stress I also had to keep in mind the mental health of those around me such as my wife and two children. We are living through a new existence that none of has could even have been prepared for.

Social Isolation has always been apart of my life through one form or another but it was mainly on my own terms, so in light of these trying times to find myself locked away and keeping a distance from even the slightest of interaction with another person outside of my immediate family has been hard at times, but I know that what is being done is for the better, for myself, my family and for every single person that walks on this earth.

I am counted within the high risk population when it comes to this virus, many underline health issues with my lungs to high blood pressure makes the idea of catching this virus so terrifying and has created a new form of mindfulness that keeps me totally aware of the environment that I physically come in contact with and I constantly think about the people that may come in contact with the people I care about, and although I am limiting my own exposure I need to be extra careful due to my wife and children who still move around outside of my home for work such as my son who works at Tesco on the night shift re stocking the store or my wife and daughter for shopping purposes.

This monumental event has shifted my way of thinking to an extent that seemingly allows me to look at my past moments of darkens in a different light. A newfound thankfulness has come about in all the things that I did have and mostly for the things that I allowed to slip by such as close friendships and forming closer ties with my family and of things that I wished I have done and for things I wished I can say to those in my life.

The greatest thing that I can move forward with in my life once we are able to move past this moment in time will be my newly found perception of my life and of the threads that tie me to not just my family, friends and people that I’ve worked with over the years but of a greater sense of community, nationality and of a worldly connection that goes beyond ideology and boundaries.

Our mental state of mind is grounded and guided by our environment, in our history and by the people that we meet throughout our lifetime. In the wake of this devastation, of the countless lives lost and in the continuum of lives that have been affected by this virus and the actions taken to curve the outbreak we will be changed fundamentally and forever. It will be our choices as we move forward that we will be able to write a new chapter in the book of life, and not just our lives as individuals but as humanity on a whole.

We owe it to those who have not only died, but also for those that have struggled and sacrificed through this fight endlessly like doctors, nurses, lab technicians, cleaners, porters, cooks, Garda,

Fire-fighters, shop and grocery personal and the list can go on and on but we all know to whom we owe thanks too, for keeping our world from crashing in on top of us to a point of no return. We owe it to all of them to look closer at life and it’s true beauty, to take a hold of opportunities and to treat each other with a newfound kindness and appreciation and not take this world of ours for granted and all that it offers up.

This is our historical moment in time, I just hope that once looked upon in the future that we can say that we learned well from it and went forward into a better direction for everyone.



If you are having a tough time at the moment and need to reach out for support, please contact any of the following

Shine: phil@shine.ie


Samaritans: 116123


Pieta House: 1800 247 247


YourMentalHealth.ie: 1800 742 444

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