The sun will rise on a better day

The day will come again soon when the sun will rise over Achill, throwing a blanket of gold across the county, snaking down through the streets of every town and village, creating a warmth in which we all will bask; banishing the cold fearful thoughts that we all harbour once our eyes open each morning at this time. The day will come when we go back to worrying about the trivial things we worried about; when the rain will be just the rain and the traffic, just the traffic.

The day will come when the smell of freshly ground coffee and warm buttery scones will come from the now boarded-up cafes and restaurants in our towns and villages. The day will come when a cool beer will be served by a chatty bar worker with his employment secure...the day will come when you will be able to buy toilet toll without being battered with abuse...the day will come when you stand by the side of a pitch watching 12-year-olds tear into each other and realise that those things we considered the little things in life, were really the big things...the day will come when you'll be worrying about the Championship again; the day will come again when children will be able to run into their arms of their grandparents to give them hugs that that will warm them, and not bugs that may harm them.

The day will come when we will be able to realise for the first time in our lives that we were faced with a challenge to our fragility; an affront to our arrogance. These days will come and when they do, we will look back on all of this as an incredibly stressful time in our lives, when we are forced to change our behaviour; to alter the way we do things; to not be as free and easy with the elements of nature that we can control such as hygiene and viral transmission. When we look back on this we will see that we have learned a lot; for those us who have never had to live under such a cloud, it will be a chastening lesson.

These days will come sooner if for just a few weeks more, we go along with what our top medical experts ask us to do. Make sure we play ball with this, so we can play ball in the future. Be fair and respect the efforts of our frontline heroes, those medical teams like the one pictured here today.

And when this day comes, we might come out of it better people, more appreciative of the aspects of life that are often disregarded; community, companionship, the warmth of elderly wisdom; the unadulterated joy of a togetherness that will thrill us and not kill us.

A few weeks ago, all that bothered us was Brexit, relegation from Division One, the weather, the election. What we would give now to have just those as our concerns? Now we wake up each morning with a heaviness in our hearts, amid all of this worry. But together, we can stave off the effects of this virus. Together we can give everyone a chance.

Our children will grow up and look back on this episode of unprecedented family time, with varying degrees of emotion. Let us hope they do not merely remember it as a time they lose loved ones; and that they will reflect on it as a time in which the world changed its ways, and how we all treated one another.

We hold the key to beating this. Do your bit. And when that day comes in summer, we will be all the stronger for it.


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