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03
Mon, Aug

Uncategorised
Typography

By Siobhán O’Neill Meluso

The Irish Heritage Singers’ long time board chair and author of this column, Judy Loevy, died March 12, 2020 in the middle of our busiest season of singing, the month of St. Patrick, and just before the Covid-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency. The singers, let alone Judy’s family, have had little time to process and grieve this gigantic loss as our mandatory shelter-in-place has distracted and separated us. When we meet again at the Irish American Heritage Center, we will surely be reminded by her empty chair and the grief will come flooding back.

In the meantime, the Irish Heritage Singers are meeting periodically via Zoom for much needed comradery during these different times. Our creative minds are devising ways to continue to collaborate and sing until we can meet again.

Our newest member, Christine Lawless, a longtime cardiologist and heart transplant specialist, joined the first soprano section of the choir in January with enthusiasm to fulfill one of her New Year’s resolutions: “to have fun.” Christine learned quickly that the Irish Heritage Singers are indeed fun, but have a rigorous repertoire and concert schedule that allows the phrase “March Madness” to apply to our group too.

However, when the pandemic set in, Christine felt an urge to help on the frontlines in New York. You see, Dr. Lawless had spent 40 years with the renowned cardiology department at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, a physically demanding, high stress position. Four years ago, she transitioned to a medical director position in the medical insurance field, where she reviews cases to determine if they are medically necessary.

At about three weeks into the pandemic, Dr. Lawless kept seeing case after case coming across her desk with the dreaded Covid-19 diagnosis. This was both frustrating and inspiring, as Dr. Lawless determined she had to “do something.” So, she sent her resume everywhere, and the Javits Center in New York City responded. She was going to serve on the frontlines and at the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States.

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