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President Michael D Higgins believes 'everything will change' from the coronavirus crisis

Dublin Live logo Dublin Live 26/03/2020 Leigh Mcgowran
Michael D. Higgins wearing a suit and tie: President Michael D Higgins © Niall Carson/PA Wire President Michael D Higgins

President Michael D Higgins feels "everything will change" after our country deals with the COVID-19 crisis.

He noted that it is currently "an awful time" and feels everyone needs to do their part to allow our medical staff to deal with this pandemic.

The president says this is a time for all of us to come together, adding that we could come out of this crisis "a much better people"

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Drivetime, he added that people should seize a "citizenship moment", where we further develop areas "that we may have neglected" such as empathy and compassion.

Want to help?: Volunteer Ireland are looking for people to assist our communities' most vulnerable members during the coronavirus emergency. If you're interested in helping, click HERE

The president said: "I think everything will change after this, to tell you the truth. I think the connection between economy and society (will change).

"And I also think, and it is important, that it will put us in a better frame of mind for dealing with the consequences of climate change and the new forms of economy, particularly of sustainability that we'll have to deal with.

"And with all of that, there won't be any distinction between the generations.

Gallery: Ireland in lockdown (Photo Services)

“We need now to seize what I call ‘the citizenship moment’ and that we would come out of this having rediscovered instincts of empathy and caring that we may have neglected in favour of more aggressive instincts of individualism of an extreme kind."

He asked Irish citizens to continue respecting social distancing, but added we shouldn't fall down the path of ageism as "age is just a number."

He finished by praising our medical workers on the frontline, along with our various scientists on the forefront of different subjects "which will be of so much help into the future".

Related: For the global reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, click HERE

He said this week in particular, it is important for everyone to follow HSE guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus, such as washing your hands and maintaining social distancing.

He noted: "The more that is achieved this week, the better it will enable the medical staff and everyone working on the frontline to climb the mountain they have to climb"

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live (1850 24 1850 , www.hse.ie/eng/hselive)

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP.

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

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