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Opinion: Brid O'Connell, 'Guaranteed Irish asks has Covid-19 finally made us #AllTogetherBetter?'
31 March 2020|News, Opinion

It’s hard not to notice it, but the fear and the planning to cope for the onslaught of Covid-19 that has yet to come, has really brought the best out in us.

We seem to have finally listened and are beginning to ‘cop on’.

The health service has never been more prepared and in unison with each other; from Nurses, Doctors, and clinicians, to the HSE and the unions; from the community pharmacists and GP’s to the ordinary people who are staying away and being treated over skype for manageable illnesses. Covid-19 has, by default, facilitated the creation of a functioning health service.

Around the communities we see a greater Garda Presence, a sense of safety and control has reappeared in our towns and villages. People feel someone has their backs.

An Posts announcement has offered communication and a lifeline to those living remotely and alone- a role it enjoyed decades ago, personal communication and connectivity has returned across Ireland.

Food Producers and essential retailers have never been more regarded and respected. The person stacking the shelves in SuperValu is as respected as the pharmacist- a sense of gratitude and acknowledgement that is long overdue.

Broadband and connectivity providers vans are seen everywhere- they are rolling out broadband or something that allows us send our emails efficiently and effectively- without any major national infrastructure costs.

Those who still have jobs or an employer who is holding their job this month, is grateful and working hard instead of planning their next ‘job hop’. As people make their jobs work now in our new reality, the wonder why they complained so much in the past.

Covid-19 is frightening-and with the worst yet to come, we are all playing our role. The world is at the mercy of its speed and only we can slow it down. As we chant “it’s in our hands”. The fast pace of action we all take now and adopt as our new normal determines the speed of our ability to recover. I believe Ireland as a small but smart country has been fast, agile, adaptable and responsible.

But then again, we have a world class team leading us together and united in our fight to ‘flatten the curve”.

Some of our world class leaders who have to be mentioned include:

Dr. Mike Ryan, and his team in the WHO
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer

The Government of Ireland- While Fine Gael are providing some of the best leadership this country has ever seen, the opposition parties must also be credited for their support, generosity, and maturity at a time when time has been the enemy.

Our clinicians and support staff across our hospitals- private and public, experienced and students.

Our pharmacists and local GP’s.

Our essential retailers and food producers and farmers.

Our community activists-setting up grocery runs, checking on the old living alone.

Our Gardai and Defence forces (some of them plucked straight from college/ Templemore).

The list doesn’t end there and we all have our own list of heroes we rely on.

This week however, the ESRI predicts that the Irish economy will shrink by 7.1% in 2020 and fall into a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They predict “Consumption, investment and net trade would all fall sharply; households would cut spending, firms would cancel or postpone investment and external demand for Irish goods and services will fall while unemployment will rise to 18% in Q2.”
Has there ever been a greater time for Guaranteed Irish- the not for profit consumer facing brand that supports all businesses based in Ireland?

By supporting and buying from Guaranteed Irish businesses you are supporting jobs, communities and contributing to Irelands local economy. Ireland has great people leading great teams as we have seen on the health front line. We also have great business leaders who will get us back on our feet with government support and a big push from our own people. Again, recovery will be “in our hands”. Other countries will be actively supporting their own economy- they will not buy as much from Ireland as they did last month. We, all of us, need to actively seek out Guaranteed Irish businesses and support them- they in turn need to differentiate themselves through the use of the iconic “g” across all their branding, communications, packaging and advertising. If we can support each other during Covid-19 in the manner we are all witnessing currently, we can definitely support each other post Covid-19. The faster we ‘cop on’ and realise that we are “All together better”, the faster we will recover economically, save jobs and save our mental health.

So look out for the symbol and play your part. We are an “All Together Better” nation when we support each other. Covid-19 has rocked the world to its core but we will prevail.

Mind your physical health, your mental health and together we can flatten the curve.

Stay safe and Support Guaranteed Irish Businesses wherever you can. We are #AllTogetherBetter.

Opinion by Brid O’Connell, CEO Guaranteed Irish.