My name is Catherine Moyseyeva with the Chief Commissioner in front of a poster and I’m from Wicklow Town and I’m a Ranger in Buion Naomh Brid, Rathnew. I am 16 years old, and during the pandemic I have been spending mostly every day working in my local SuperValu. I’ve been working there for nine months now.

At first, seeing people come in with masks and gloves on was weird to me but now it’s so normal. We had to wear gloves and it was so uncomfortable. My hands are very dry from all the hand sanitisers that I use in the shop😂. While in the shop, we also have to maintain social distance with the customers and our co-workers.

My first week working during this pandemic was very tough as I had to get up at 6am every morning to be in work for 7am. Before the lockdown started, people were panic buying and bulking up on products and because of this many items became unavailable for a while, such as: toilet paper, antibacterial wipes and sprays, soap, rice, flour and baking powder etc. The shop was packed almost every day from our opening time (7.30am) till closing.

As most of the elderly and vulnerable people were advised to stay home, that meant that they had no way of getting their weekly shopping, so I was put in charge of home deliveries. Each customer would send me a shopping list via email and I would do the shopping for them, put it through the tills and pack it all in boxes and then later the delivery driver would deliver each customer’s shopping. Sometimes the elderly people who could not use the internet to send an email, would simply ring us and I would take their order over the phone.

I felt very responsible not only because I was in charge of taking care of the people who were unable to leave their homes, even to get their shopping done, but also because I was being trusted to get card details from people and to use a till in the shop.

Now I’m still in basically every day in the mornings, and I still do the home deliveries. The elderly are now allowed out so the amount of home deliveries we get has definitely decreased. The shop is still busy but people are now used to the whole situation, so they tend to not bulk buy and keep their social distance with other customers and the staff.

I really hope that everything goes back to normal soon and I get to go back to attending my unit meetings. Please stay safe and remember to maintain your social distance 😊