Jack Squibb on his Pandemic Experience

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It went from wheelchair rugby training, going to gigs and watching football with work in between. To suddenly then be working from home, no gigs, no training, no football to watch and nowhere to go. So things haven’t been great but thanks for asking…

Luckily football came back and training recently resumed in the last few weeks from writing this. Yet I’m still working from home and it’s been over a year since I was last at a gig singing loudly out of tune while flailing like a fish out of water, passing it off as dancing. I also ran (or like to think I still run, despite it’s inactivity) a music blog called JACKS, yet COVID kicked in and kicked out the motivation to keep writing.

It’s not all been bad though.

While wheelchair rugby with Rebel Wheelers was on hold, training carried on in a different way via workouts at home and pushing along the Carrigaline to Crosshaven greenway, completing two virtual marathons in the process but still tone deaf though, I’m afraid.

While the day job isn’t the job I envisioned myself doing, I have considered myself lucky that I’ve been able to continue to work through the pandemic at home. It took time to adjust to the work from home lifestyle and even now it’s still something I’m still not entirely used to 14 months on. Dealing with customers missing a package or not being able to log in to their account to do some online shopping feels strange when your family are in earshot.

Blowing off steam in between shifts I’ve been taking the rugby wheelchair out and started pushing along the stunning Crosshaven greenway. When a friend saw the kilometres being covered, he reached out to say Cork Sports Partnership and Crann have a new and shiny track chair available if I’m interested.

Jack Squibb out with his Track Chair
Swapping that for my rugby chair was a game changer.

Suddenly my PB’s were being smashed, the speed felt invigorating and was suddenly giving me notions of entering competitions when they return both home and abroad. The track chair gave me something to work towards and has made this pandemic that felt like it was never-ending, suddenly feel like it will end.

Managing the pandemic and lockdowns was okay right up until it was suddenly not okay. Not being able to make plans to visit family back in Merseyside or my sister in the Middle East, along with a chest infection, foot surgery and other factors, suddenly the pandemic felt like a bag of sand tied to the ankle and I’d been thrown into the deep end of a pool.

A Call from Crann

While still recovering in hospital from my surgery, a call from Crann came from out of the blue. After a short call with Collette and admitting that I was struggling with the things lost through the pandemic, she was able to get some counselling set up via Zoom sessions. Counselling is something I never thought I’d need to take up but having that safe space to talk has been a welcomed addition to my life, allowing me to process all these changes and know it’s okay to open up and talk. I can only thank Crann for giving me that opportunity.

No one has gone through this unscathed.

The main thing though is that the end is in sight and we’re almost there. Training is back, holidays can be planned with confidence that they will go ahead and gigs will stop getting postponed. To quote a song by Frightened Rabbit – “We’ve still got hope, so I think we’ll be fine in these disastrous times…”

Jack with his medal for completing the Inca Trail Virtual Marathon

Jack writes and runs JACKS, a live music blog, and plays wheelchair rugby with Rebel Wheelers. You can follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/jacksquibb

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