29 March 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The creative schools team at St Aidan’s comprehensive school, Cootehill have been collecting students responses to the covid 19 virus and being off school.

This project is called ‘student voice’, and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. The students have been sending in creative writing with the title, Covid 19, it’s past, the present and your future, they have also included any creative work they have been doing since school closed. These pieces are a sample of their contributions.

Staying connected and being able to express themselves helps well being and feelings if isolation so if there are any more students out there who would like to contribute please send to any member of the team at,

Stay away, stay safe

Covid-19 is our past, present and our future

St Aidan’s student 1

“Neither physicians nor medicines were effective, “whether because these illnesses were previously unknown or because physicians had not previously studied them, there seemed to be no cure”. This is a quote by Baldassarre Bonaiuti who was a historian, statesman, politician, businessman and diplomat from Florence, who survived the Black Death. Bonaiuti wrote the ‘Cronaca fiorentina di Marchionne di Coppo Stefani’, this book gives a detailed account of what happened during the Bubonic Plague. Today this quote is an all too familiar concept, however the coronavirus that we are experiencing today is incomparable to the global catastrophe that was called the plague.

Scientists have learned a lot about how different viruses spread, and how to develop cures since then, after the SARS outbreak of 2003 was eliminated WHO published a book entitled: ‘SARS: How a Global Epidemic Was Stopped’. The final chapter focuses on the lessons learned and how to deal with a future outbreak. It cites, “transparency is the best policy” and “animal husbandry and marketing practices seriously affect human health” as lessons to be learned from the pandemic. Toady we have seen how these lessons have not been learned as China was not completely open about the virus at the beginning.

Today the objective is to stop the spread of this virus, and protect the people who are most vulnerable. Personally, I am getting used to doing school work online, and appreciating the lack of class tests. I am still getting used to not being able to leave my house, however I understand the importance of doing it. I think that everyone needs to stay at home to help the nurses and doctors who are putting their lives on the line to care for the sick and prevent the spread of the virus.

It is impossible for anyone to predict how the future will look, I think that there will be economic consequences, but things are gradually getting better in the worst affected countries. I am personally looking forward to getting out of the house and going back to school. I think that by everyone working together we will get through it together.

St Aidan’s student 2


I remember on December 31st, my friends and I joked that no year could be worse than 2019.
2020 was a new decade, a clean slate and considering that most of us are turning 18 this year, the start of the rest of our lives. We were going to make it the best year yet, before the stress of the Leaving Cert begins. But the world works in mysterious ways and every month 2020 seemed to have something new to throw at us. March is no different.

The Coronavirus was a joke for many at first and I’ll admit that I laughed at some of the memes on the Internet and thought, ‘sure it’ll never get to Ireland’. As the virus grew into a pandemic and quickly made its way west across Europe, the jokes that I once laughed at weren’t as funny anymore. I felt uneasy when hand sanitizers were first put up around school. Of course they were needed, I knew that. But I didn’t like how everything was moving so quickly. It felt as time was running away from me. It became all the more real on March 12th when suddenly we were being told to clean out our lockers in school, because we wouldn’t be back for a while. We all knew we would be gone for more than 2 weeks.

Social distancing is hard, even though I never considered myself one for crowds. Now I crave any bit of social interaction. Before this I’d prefer to sit at home, but now home is the last place I want to be. I miss my friends, I miss school, I miss the teachers, I miss the routine. I miss the bus journey in to Cootehill every morning and watching the sheep in that one field along the route, because they’d come and stand at the hedge every morning as if they were waiting for us to drive by. I wonder if they still do that now.

I understand the importance of staying at home, though. Thinking about family member of mine who has an autoimmune disease, and seeing people meeting up after being told to stay at home is infuriating, especially when they’re some of my friends. Selfishness is lethal in times like this, people should think about others more, they should know better.

All we can do for now is follow the guidelines set out for us by the government and the HSE and do our best to protect vulnerable people in society. It is truly a strange time we’re living in.

St Aidan’s student 3

Covid-19 its past, the present and your future

We are all probably know about the virus covid19. It is a very serious virus but I feel like people don’t know much about it.

Covid19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The outbreaks first serious contagion in Wuhan China a city with a population of 11 million.

The virus has since spread widely across the world with cases often doubling in a day in several countries. China, its epicentre, was the biggest hit with many cases and deaths but since that Italy, Spain and now America also has high numbers.

Here, , in such little amount of time we went into lockdown and school closed. It is a very difficult time for everyone with not being able to see your friends or family members. Everyone should be helping your elders in this time or your neighbours or people apart of the most vunerable .

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet this week to consider if further restrictions are required if people do not heed advice about social distancing to try to fight Covid-19.

Among the measures that may have to be included are restrictions in areas such as beaches, parks and mountain walking trails.

Earlier, Assistant Secretary at the Department of An Taoiseach, Elizabeth Canavan said clear, simple public messaging would be provided so people could continue to enjoy outdoor spaces such as parks.

She said the most important advice for the public was to wash your hands and continue to practice social distancing at least 4 meters apart.

We all pray that this will be over soon and things will go back to normal and when this is all over we wont take little things for granted anymore such as a hug from a family member or a friend, visiting people your close with, going out with your friends.

Second year student

Lovely creative piece done by a second year student at St Aidan’s Comprehensive school Cootehill.
Keeping busy whilst the school is closed.

Covid-19 is our past, present and our future!

St Aidan’s student 4

Where do I begin? Covid-19 has shook the world to its core. It has affected every single person no matter if they are rich or poor. This virus doesn’t care who you are or where you come from.

I wasn’t really worried about the coronavirus in the beginning if I’m being honest. I just thought it was an unfortunate event that happened in China and that it would be forgotten about in a few weeks, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now it’s a matter of days later we are in isolation, we can’t be less than two metres apart and the world is shutting down.

When you’re forced into isolation you have a lot of time alone with your thoughts and all I’ve kept thinking is that I took my everyday errands for granted; going to the shops, visiting family or friends, social events, the odd spa day and even school is a thing of the past.

At the moment I get up, do school work but no not in a classroom, in my bedroom and usually in my pyjamas.

Most young students in today’s society including myself never shied away from complaining about school but I think with this virus restricting us of our education and seeing our friends on a daily basis many students have changed their opinion and actually are starting to MISS SCHOOL, yes you read that correctly, miss school.

I want to see my friends, go to the cinema and go to parties which were once all normal things for teenagers and have now become so foreign.

It has frightened me how quickly everything has changed and it terrifies me even more not knowing if things will go back to how they once were.

I know the majority of things to come out of this pandemic are obviously negative but it has given families and communities beneficial outcomes in a way.

For instance, my family and I have grown a great deal closer, we are playing board games, playing cards and watching shows together which is very surprising, believe me.

I realize we can’t interact with people outside our families but I think this makes communities come together, virtually or emotionally, without having to make actual close contact. The nation is now protecting the people most at risk for e.g. elderly people and they are bringing essentials to them which is so uplifting to see.

I know most of the world is finding isolation challenging and unpleasant which don’t get me wrong I know is necessary, but I believe we should be optimistic and keep people positive, not just in Ireland but in the whole world during this anxious time.

I’m uneasy with what the future will hold because deep down, I believe life as we know it will never be the same.

I know people will still subconsciously practice social distancing because they will always be fearful that the monstrous disease that is Covid-19 will return with a vengeance.

But I also believe if we follow the guidelines and look after each other we will overcome Covid-19 and create a better world!

That’s all from St Aidan’s Comprehensive school, Cootehill for now , stay away, stay safe

St Aidan’s student

The perspective from a students at St Aidan’s Comprehensive on stereotyped roles, a strong statement from a creative student.

St Aidan’s student

A feeling of dread expressed by a student of St Aidan’s Comprehensive school, with the hopeful inclusion of a rainbow giving some hope for the future

St Aidan’s student

A graphical expression done in line and points of red giving expression to this piece of art work by a senior student at St Aidan’s Comprehensive school, cootehill.

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