We have learned much about Covid-19 , but what have we learned about ourselves?

Initially Covid-19 crept towards us from China in February but when it finally pounced upon us in March it really seemed to catch us on the hop!

I will always remember Thursday March 12th,2020 as Leo stood at the plinth in Washington DC and told us he “needed to speak to us about Coronavirus and Covid 19.” …..and then all Hell broke loose!

Temporary barriers hastily put in place in our Dublin Rd. store before social distancing,perspex and masks became the norm.

Toilet paper ran short in Supermarkets ( just in case) and in my pharmacies Calpol and Nurofen flew off the shelves as we feared Covid temperatures were eminent for everyone. Where as a nation we needed to stay apart …on that Thursday evening we came together in supermarkets and pharmacies hustling and bustling for supplies.

As we reflect back on these crazy last few months what have we learned?

HEALTH MATTERS : When lockdown was called for this nation of ours responded selflessly in a way I would never have thought possible. Life’s rat race came to an abrupt halt as we all came to the realisation of what mattered most ….the health and safety of our families and loved ones.

WE NEED EACH OTHER : Social distancing has shown us that what gives life it’s colour is each other. Social occasions, birthdays ,work, hugs just are not the same when experienced through the lens of zoom or microsoft teams.

LIVE OUR LIVES BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHAT IS AROUND THE CORNER Covid brought me back to a first love …. art! Like everyone else i was consumed with work and family pre-Covid and perhaps i still am! For some reason after a break of nearly 20 years i took up painting and caricature again Once upon a time this was my passion and somewhere along the line it got left behind.Find time in life for things you love to do.

My Caricature of Kevin our Monksland Pharmacy Manager completed during lockdown.

WE ARE RESILIENT: There are times in the pharmacy when i pinch myself because it is all so surreal to look out on the shopfloor from behind a mask and through a perspex screen. Who would ever have thought working in a pharmacy would be considered frontline work. It all feels secure now but in the first few weeks of this it did not seem so…….. but we have got through it! For years my staff always jokingly reminded me how lucky i was to have them.Having observed them in action over the last number of months …..their patience , their calmness and good humour i now truly realise how lucky i am.

Lorna,Rachel,Leah,Sarah and Dora modelling cotton masks dropped in by the Athlone Resource Centre

OUR NATION NEEDS TO GET BACK TO WORK : Maybe lockdown is something that would be good for us to experience once a year just to allow us to take stock ,to reflect on what’s important….. but only for a few days. As a nation we need to get going again .We need our pubs,our restaurants,our schools, we need all of life’s rich tapestry to shape and colour our lives.

The next year will be tough as we await a breakthrough to bring this Covid nightmare to an end.

Through our stores and now www.cunninghamspharmacy.com we will be ever present by your side. The last year has been phenomenal for us. Both stores making it into Retail Excellence’s Top 100 stores in Ireland and our Monksland store progressing to become National Pharmacy of the Year 2020. All built on building a homely and inviting environment in which to shop.None of it in keeping with the social distancing that is so necessary at the moment.Rest assured that behind the masks we are still smiling and we are still here to try and help wherever we can.

A note dropped into our Monksland store by one of our many wonderful customers

Paul Cunningham, Cunningham’s Pharmacy


  1. Love Kevin’s pic. Keep drawing and painting ,Paul, when things get back to normal. Dont let talent like that return to the back burner.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s