We’re at the point in this pandemic where the “new normal” has set in, even if none of it feels normal. Aside from the many closures, layoffs and postponements, the daily fabric of our lives has shifted dramatically, and we’re having to figure out creative ways to do things that were so straightforward, in the Before. Like meeting a tiny new family member for the first time.
In a poignant picture from Ireland that went viral over the weekend, a father holds his newborn son up by the window so that his own dad can safely catch a glimpse from outside. The look on this grandfather’s face as he gazes at his new grandchild is one of affection, but also deep yearning.
“He is looking forward to holding the baby soon,” Emma Gallagher, the baby’s aunt, wrote on Twitter.
“Three generations of social distancing as my dad meets his grandson for the first time,” her caption read.
Gallagher and her extended family live in Meath on the east coast of Ireland, just north of Dublin. Her brother’s wife, also named Emma, gave birth to baby Faolán a little more than a week ago, Gallagher told HuffPost Canada. It was Faolán’s mom who took the photo.
In the days following Faolán’s birth, coronavirus cases started to escalate in Ireland: schools closed; public spaces emptied; St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were cancelled. According to the latest figures on Tuesday, there are more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the country, which has a population of fewer than five million people.
“It was very scary for [Faolán’s parents] to come home from hospital and realize how serious things had become,” Gallagher said.
The medical authorities recommended that Gallagher’s brother and his wife limit the number of visitors baby Faolán meets, and that ideally no one else would come into contact with him, if possible.
“We are all taking that advice very seriously as we know now that babies can contract the virus,” Gallagher said.
“It is difficult not to meet him properly just yet and hard on the new parents especially,” she said. “But we are visiting through the window daily.