If a week is a long time in politics, it’s an age in a country in which life has changed as never before in living memory as we face up to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
This time last week, we were worried about the cancellation of the St Patrick’s Day parades, and the difficulties that this would cause to local businesses.
In the past week, we have seen schools and nurseries close. Pubs are shuts and restaurants are on the brink of temporarily closing. Many people are working from home. Hundreds, thousands, are in fear for their long-term job security. Businesses are worried that they may not reopen after this crisis passes.
And that’s before we even mention the health worries. The physical effects of coronavirus for the small proportion of people who are badly affected are terrible. The psychological effects of the fear of contracting the disease are also far-reaching. There are genuine fears that our health service will not be able to cope in a few weeks’ time.
And still. While the initial flurry of panic-buying did not reflect well on us, the outpouring of common decency that we have also seen is remarkable.
President of the Association of Local Government, Cllr Mick Cahill reminded us that the Longford county motto is ‘Daingean agus Dílis’: Strong and Loyal.
Longford’s loyalty, strength and spirit is to the fore presently as communities rally to lend assistance to others, to ensure the elderly and vulnerable have all they need to get through the crisis.
While we are physically apart, we are being kinder to each other. People are supporting each other with a kind word on the street, or through on social media.
We will get through this, with the help of each other and the support of our communities here in County Longford.
It will, and there is no point soft-soaping it, if you'll forgive the pun, be a rough journey, but we will come out the other end stronger than ever.