President urges people to ‘stay patient, and vigilant’ with coronavirus measures

‘We are not travelling through the darkness alone, but that we are on this journey together’

‘May I take the opportunity to congratulate you and thank you for your solidarity and vigilance’ President Higgins said. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘May I take the opportunity to congratulate you and thank you for your solidarity and vigilance’ President Higgins said. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

President Michael D Higgins has asked people to continue showing solidarity with the vulnerable and “stay patient” with measures aimed at flattening the curve of Covid-19 in the weeks ahead.

In a statement issued on Monday Mr Higgins said “In this crucial week, when we are being asked to take yet more stringent measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, may I take the opportunity to congratulate you and thank you for your solidarity and vigilance. All of our efforts together are making a difference.”

“We are being asked to keep our distance — from loved ones, from relatives, work colleagues, and from all those we meet on a daily basis and who give our lives meaning. For all of us, this is a difficult ask. For too many, it is extremely painful not to be able to be there for those who need them, and not to be able to share the grief of our families, neighbours and friends in these difficult times,” he said.

He urged people to “keep the faith, stay patient, and vigilant” and added that “our solidarity is vitally important — our solidarity now means that we need to keep our distance physically. Solidarity now also means supporting those in our communities who need us, or who are vulnerable. And it means looking beyond our borders, finding ways to support those countries that are struggling to cope and whose health care services are in danger of collapsing.”

He acknowledged that the days ahead will be difficult but asked people to consider “what a memory it will be when the virus has passed, to know that we gave of our best.”

“Let us not forget ever that we are not travelling through the darkness alone, but that we are on this journey together,” he said.

The President thanked all those working “tirelessly and selflessly” to keep people healthy and safe, including healthcare workers, the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána and those in food production and retail.

He also expressed his condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones during the Covid-19 outbreak.