Aoife

How are you feeling right now?

Good, I’m feeling good now. Initially, it was as if someone had completely pulled the rug from under me. Wondering how am I going to adapt to this? Not even from a mental health perspective, but business, life… My business is my life, so that was really tough. But then I just made a list of everything I needed to do quickly and once I got through that, I felt so much better. Now I’d say week one was really stressful, week two was a bit of shock and grief – I missed my work – I think this week, it’s like I’m thriving again. It’s like OK, this is how it’s going to be. It took me a minute to switch my mindset and that’s kind of that.

What’s something that you’ve lost or miss the most as a result of the pandemic?

Freedom, I’ve realised now how much we take it for granted. It’s just really bizarre. It’s never happened before, when you go outside now you feel like you’re an atomic bomb, people are afraid to go near each other. Freedom is the biggest thing – the freedom to go see whoever I want to see, the freedom to just walk in the park and be carefree, freedom in so many different aspects.

What’s something that you’ve gained?

It’s like I have a mental gym now. A couple of months ago, I was living in a headspace that wasn’t good. I was focusing on what was lacking more than what was thriving. Just a couple of weeks before this all started, I was coming off xanax – the worst time to come off something like that! The first couple of days I was freaking out, my mind started to spiral – but then I had to have a chat with myself and now I have to be really vigilant and really strict with what I’m thinking. Jody and myself have made this house the most positive headspace ever, we’re in this little bubble and I’m loving it. It’s brought us so much closer together and it’s sort of reset us as a couple to this really strong ground. We’re helping other people, and we’re doing it together, it’s a new solidarity. It’s lovely, it’s felt really good.

Who are you most worried about right now?

The parents on both sides, they’re so much older – you just want to wrap them in cotton wool and make sure they’re safe. I’m just worried for all of the elderly people in society right now, it must be so frightening – they’ve lived through so much, but not being able to see your family… Even if they’re used to living alone, this is different. And I’m sure they’re frightened of getting sick too.

What are you most hopeful for?

I can see it already, there’s a massive transformation happening. It’s just the significance of it, it’s so big that I think it’s going to change a lot of things for people. I think people will come out of this realising how much time they’ve wasted. For example on travel, like does everyone really need to go to Zurich to have a meeting on Wednesday? Not really! We now know that. And holidays – people used to go away once or twice a year, if you were lucky. Now, you feel insignificant if you’re not going somewhere every couple of weeks – I know the flights are cheap, but look at the consequence that has had – we’re seeing now how the earth is healing. Our apartment overlooks the water and normally that would be choppy, and people rushing along too, coming and going. At the moment, every single day that water has been still – it’s like a mirror, a reflection of how we’re all being made completely stop. There’s greatness in striving for more, but it’s like the earth is asking us to sit still for a while, while it heals a little bit.