Brighter Days Ahead

By Peter Ronaghan

For the past year, we have been living with Covid 19. At this stage we can really see the toll that it has taken on our community as well as the world in general.

Life in Ronaghan’s Pharmacy has never been dull, as our loyal and lovely staff members will tell you. As a third-generation family run Pharmacy, in our 103rd year, this last year has been challenging and made us all re-evaluate the important things in life. This last year has tested everyone in many ways.

In March 2020 we had to change the way we worked to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers. It took us a while to adjust to our new way of working with both staff and customer alike very fearful of this new disease.

Although the pandemic brought new pressures, we were grateful to be able to remain open and continue to assist our customers, over the phone, in person and through the prescription shopping delivery service which was kindly provided by Raymond Aughey and his amazing group of volunteers. In equal measures it was both an exhausting and an extremely rewarding time for all involved.

In June 2020 we returned to our regular rota which allowed us to open up the full shop once again and work as a full team, which we were delighted about.

We miss our great neighbour’s in Magill’s, The Squealing Pig, Jonos, Kelly’s Photography, House of labels & Inka, FBD, Monaghan Spice, Boyle’s, The Westenra, You’re Beautiful, The Centre of Health, Crystal Boutique and the Screaming Bean to name just a few.

Just naming these businesses gives an us an insight into how this virus has affected our local economy and lives. Each of these businesses have many families that depend on them and we look forward to seeing them trade as normal once again.

Apart from the economic impact this pandemic has caused, there has been an even more devastating reality for thousands of families within our communities, with many having lost family and friends. Our condolences to those in our community, the families of our customers and staff members who have lost loved ones. The pandemic has changed how we celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have passed, and this has been one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. 

I was listening to the radio one day and an elderly woman was being interviewed. She was in her 90th year and told the interviewer she was not afraid of dying but she just did not want to die from “that bloody disease”.  This statement of fact put everything in perspective for me.

For my generation (I’m 46 by the way) a pandemic was something we had all heard of in the very distant past, the most newsworthy being the Spanish Flu of 1918.  What I had heard about it did not prepare me for this last year.

At the beginning of the pandemic, knowledge and information was scarce and constantly changing. We were fearful and worried as to how to deal with the challenges ahead. We are often asked for information by our customers and have done our utmost to support them through this period. This has been a learning curve for us all and by working together and supporting each other we have strengthened our community bonds.

“From challenge, comes change” and with that in mind, Ireland has been catapulted forward many years in terms of technology by the challenges of this pandemic. Here in Ronaghan’s, we have been propelled into the online shopping world and have been able to provide our customers the option of shopping from home. As restrictions have hindered our opportunity to travel, providing alternative ways to shop has been imperative. Just before Christmas, after months of hard work, we launched our new website, www.ronaghanspharmacy.ie.

Our website has proven to be a big hit and allows us to showcase Ronaghan’s Pharmacy alongside the best of Pharmacy and beauty retailers both nationally and internationally. Our customers new and old can buy well know brands and support local by buying Irish, including some of your favourites like, SoSu, Green Angel, Pestle & Mortar and Spotlight Oral Care, to name just a few. Our e-commerce journey has well and truly begun. Please feel free to browse our website, but we are always to delighted to see you walk in the door of our shop. 

For some, the restrictions have had a positive impact. The increased time spent with family and a more slowed down way of life has been very welcome. People may now realise that they do not always have to be going somewhere or doing something, sometimes. It is nice to read a book, do a jigsaw, take a walk, play with your children, bake some bread or simply have a cup of tea and a daydream.

We are now looking to brighter days ahead with our lovely long summer evenings nearly upon us, the schools are back and the vaccination programme is now gaining traction, so there is reason to be optimistic.

Our staff have had their first dose of the Covid 19 vaccination and two are fully vaccinated having had their second dose. We are very much looking forward to being able to help with that fight against Covid, namely, being able to administer the vaccine in Ronaghan’s in the near future. Please watch this space and we will let you all know when that is.

Our Pharmacists are always here for advice and information regarding your health and care and can lend a listening ear if you need.

Thank you all for reading my first blog and I hope that you made it through unscathed! I am going to make this a regular blog so if you would like to hear from us please sign up to our website and newsletter on www.ronaghanspharmacy.ie

Until next time, Peter

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