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Carla: Being apart is the hardest part

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Carla Rowe

Carla Rowe

Carla Rowe

Carla Rowe's life of structure and routine has been hugely affected because of the coronavirus outbreak - and with her Dad playing a key role as a front-line healthcare professional, she is well versed in the realities people face.

A childcare worker by profession, Rowe has been cut off from that personal contact, while her time with the Dublin senior football panel is spent checking in remotely as they entertain each other with cooking classes and various exercises to maintain positive mental and physical health.

A month of no face-to-face contact with her Dad, Shay, is one of the toughest aspects of lockdown, but she knows his increased work with the ambulance service is vital to the wellbeing of hundreds of Dubliners.

"My dad is a fireman but when he trained, he became a paramedic too so he has always done some ambulance work," said Rowe, a Lidl Ireland 'One Good Club' ambassador.

"I think he is very like me: he takes everything in his stride. He is used to difficult and pressurised situations.

"There is not much you can do. His job is to go out there and help people. That's what they continue to do and they take every precaution. Hopefully that keeps them all well in his work.

"What's hard on me and him is that I'm not living at home and he is obviously high risk for getting the virus. I have not been able to be in contact with him for the last five weeks. That was hard but we have been ringing each other regularly, and we're hoping this won't go on for much longer."

Initiatives like Lidl's priority queuing for all healthcare professionals are a massive help according to Rowe. But she knows that stress levels and anxiety are likely to be an issue in the general population.

This week the LGFA, Lidl Ireland and Jisgaw teamed up to promote Jigsaw's updated online service, which Rowe thinks is an excellent resource for children, adults and teachers.

"A lot of the work Jigsaw had done was face-to-face and on the ground, which is brilliant, but with this situation they had to quickly adapt," she says.