Irish Examiner view: We're in this together so time to reassess priorities

Irish Examiner view: We're in this together so time to reassess priorities
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle (with, from left), Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork Co. Co.; Noelle Desmond, Carrigaline Municipal District Officer; Ray Lee, proprieror, Centra, Charleville and Liz Maddox, chair of Cork County Older Persons Council at the launch of Project ACT ar Cork County Hall. Project ACT is a co-ordinated response across 23 towns in County Cork to support the business, retail and community sectors as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Picture: Brian Lougheed

We all know the downside to the pandemic but is there an upside? The answer is yes. We’ve learned not to take normal for granted. We have come to appreciate the importance of human interaction and there is more social solidarity.

We may emerge from the crisis with new priorities and a heightened sense of our common humanity, realising that, globally we are, indeed, all in this together.

Even the bean counters are reassessing priorities, content to save lives rather than money. Financial rules that were considered sacrosanct are being bent, broken or simply ignored for the common good. Rents are frozen and banks have been forced to act humanely. We have a national health service based on need, not the ability to pay.

The crisis has also given us the opportunity to reassess and re-imagine our world, from a more radical approach to climate change to local initiatives. Cork City Council is pedestrianising more streets and rethinking the future of the city in a way that boosts quality of life and sustainability. The battle against Covid-19 continues and hopefully some good can eventually come from it.

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