Fair City star Rory Cowan has said he is relieved his mother passed away when she did because it meant she is ‘not around for this’.
Cowan’s mother Esther suffered with dementia for several years before she died in 2018.
The Dublin actor said: “I’m glad my mother is not around for this because she wouldn’t have been aware of what was going on.
“She’d never have understood if the carers had come in and kept a distance from her. That would have upset her.
“You see the main thing about my mother was that she needed contact with people. She needed to be washed and changed.
“That would have been very difficult for her carers to do now because they have families of their own.
“They might have gotten sick themselves and had to say ‘Listen I can’t look after your mother’.
“That would have left me in a tough situation, because you couldn’t have an old vulnerable person on her own.
“I feel so sorry for people who need care in their homes right now. I was talking to my sister last week, and we were saying it’s a blessing our mum isn’t around here now.”
The 60-year-old star also said his heart goes out to those elderly people in Italy, who cannot have their loved ones visit them.
He said: “That’s a terrible fear for older people, that they will die without their people around them.
“But people find a way around that. One of the most moving and beautiful things I saw was the video of that woman who died in Kerry and the people who couldn’t go to the funeral, lined the route as her hearse passed.”
The Fair City actor did have hope that the global pandemic could have a positive impact on the way people live their lives in the future.
He said: “What the coronavirus has proved is no one knows who their neighbours are any more.
“I only know the people on either side of me, and someone across the road, but I have no idea who else lives on the street where I’ve lived for 30 years.
“I’m hoping all this brings people together. There’s still that sense of community on the South Circular Road where I live. There was one day walking home, I saw all the older people standing out in their gardens shouting to one another.”
With the governments of several nations ordering their citizens to remain in the house many people are struggling with the confined conditions.
However, as a single person Cowan says it has not been a major issue for him.
He explained: “I am used to my own company so it doesn’t bother me. I’m okay in a crisis. I don’t have to consider anybody else because I like being on my own.
“But I do feel terrible for families of people living together, or people sharing a flat together, because they are going to get on each other’s nerves because we all need space.
“There was one day in the middle of this when 40,000 people lost their jobs. Holy God. I feel for those people and I know I’m fortunate not to be affected.
“I’m not the kind of person who worries about the bad things that are going to happen. I’ve had a brain tumour and I dealt with that.
“My mother was a terrible worrier, she’d actually say ‘Is there anything I should be worrying about?’ So I’m never worried.
“The idea of getting the virus doesn’t worry me . . . if I get it, I get it.
“And then I’d just get into the mind-set of ‘how do I get rid of this?’ I’m always looking at the positive side of things.
“If you let yourself worry, your mind goes to the worst of extremes.
“If I follow the HSE guidelines, I’ll be okay.”