Corona battle: A positive within a negative

A POSITIVE within a negative was how Kilkenny Observer Editor Jimmy Rhatigan described our nation’s battle with an invisible but potentially lethal enemy called Coronavirus.

He said there was no doubt we were living in uncertain and dangerous times but that we should not envelop ourselves in doom and gloom.

Speaking to KCLR journalist Eimear Ní Bhraonáin he said that our people were united in fear and as a result were now acting as a team, caring for each other and working towards protecting our greater local communities.

He said a daunting statistic was that some 95% of our businesses may be closed for God only knows how long but any alternative could prove to be devastating.

Rhatigan later added that an experience in his own life was the catalyst for his belief that we can overcome our latest adversity by helping each other to do the right things, following medical advice such as washing hands and keeping a distance from each other.

“I remember I was editor of the then Kilkenny Voice at the time and on the first Friday evening of May 2007 I was stretchered from work and rushed to St Luke’s General Hospital.

“I had suffered a stroke and a week that threatened to be the worst of my life proved to be one of the most memorable.

“I was in a ward with five local men, our common denominators being that they were gentleman and characters, and we were all gripped by fear.

“Early days of tender loving care from caring St Luke’s doctors and nurses meant that our confidence grew as we willed each other back to good health.

“A highlight was that one great evening we sang and joked and entertained a nurse we loved and respected who was expecting a baby.

“At one stage the nurse was laughing so much at our antics that she called a halt to the impromptu concert as she feared that our medical ward would have to double as a maternity unit.

“The camaraderie, friendship and teamwork of that week meant that I made a new friend in talented professional musician travelled the world.

“Pat O’Leary, now a coach driver, remains a great friend to this day.

“Out of a negative born out of fear came a delightful positive.

“The same principles could apply to our Corona battle. Fear is widespread but a great positive cannot be ruled out as camaraderie and adhering to medical advice can be the mix for the kind of positive result of 13 years ago in St Luke’s.

“We were all discharged in good health following what at first frightened us as a game of hopscotch in a minefield.

“Illness that threatened some of our lives was beaten by courage, character and positivity.”

Enjoy The Kilkenny Observer free of charge at

Previous ‘Flu epidemic killed our Private Ryan
Next Saved by the bell