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Are You Okay?

This is a crucial question to ask; are you okay? This is normally the space where I would write my five-hundred words of thoughts that have struck me throughout the past fortnight. Instead, this week I would like to begin by reflecting and remembering a fellow UCC student who has parted company with us this week. The tragedy that occured in Cork this bank holiday weekend is something that many of us can’t bear thinking about. On behalf of myself and the University Express team I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends who have been affected by this terrible tragedy. It is important to remember that you are never alone in any battle that you face and there is always help and support available; organisations who are ready to help you in any struggle that you feel right now is too big to handle.

I know that it is very easy for me to say please find support if you are in a dark place, but it may not be as easy to do in person. I can appreciate that. What I would say to you is, you are important, somebody cares about you, somebody loves you. The death of one of my favourite childhood authors, Sam McBratney, in the past few weeks really struck a chord with me. His words are ones that I will never forget from childhood “I love you right up to the moon – and back”

I can’t pretend that everything is hopeful all the time, to live in that pretence would be a shocking use of judgment in light of the current situation at a local, national and global level. It is not acceptable to live in that bubble of ignorance, where one can forget about their role in the world but also the responsibilities they hold to it. I have been reading lots of different news literature since the Level 5 restrictions were announced to the country, different stories and opinions circling my head as my own opinion is formed and informed by different sources. Our current state of affairs are progressively invading all areas of our lives; little is left untouched by something we cannot see, but something that has become the elephant in every room.

My appeal to everyone this year would be to look after yourselves and look after each other as we face down a road where the shadows are growing and we are unsure of what lies ahead. We live in each other’s shadow and this is not an easy future for anyone to square up to so it’s all we can do to lean on each other and provide support where we can. In the issue this week, Maeve McTaggert looks at the launch of the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention; Liam Grainger looks at the progress of UCC Rugby since their return; and Matthew Hanrahan analyses remote working after a few weeks of working within the virtual world. All of that and much more within these pages.

Until next time,