The seeds we planted in March are now beginning to bloom - but some are still struggling

A look at life in Donegal through the coronavirus crisis by journalist Siobhán McNamara

Summer flowers

Our hard work is paying off - but keep an eye out for those who are still struggling

Back in March I wrote about the optimism and deep sense of hope that comes from planting a seed. 

I also wrote about the commitment to follow through on nurturing our seedlings if we want to reap the benefits.

The last three months have certainly required a lot of nurturing at many levels, from those caring for children at home to people trying to keep businesses going, those caring for our sick in hospitals to those making the big decisions that brought us step by tentative step through the Covid-19 minefield. 

And not forgetting our need for self-care as we all tried to ways to cope with the stress of living through a global pandemic.

We are seeing many benefits of our efforts now as we emerge - with the summer flowers - from the latest phase of lockdown. 

The diligence of the last few months means we can accelerate the exit phases. This means that many more businesses can open their doors, albeit with a lot of restrictions. There are more people milling around our streets and tourism hotspots, creating a wonderful sense of optimism.

We can now travel anywhere in the country and go into each other’s homes, leading to emotional reunions between family members and friends who haven’t seen each other in more than three months.

On the whole, it is a time of celebration. But not everyone is emerging unscathed. Some of our summer blooms are more bedraggled than others. They may need a little more space and care to grow and bloom in their own time. Even those flowers that appear full and healthy now need ongoing attention to survive the unpredictable elements.

It is the same with people - who among our family, friends, colleagues or neighbours needs that extra bit of care? Which of our local businesses will struggle most?  There are those who suffered bereavement during lockdown; their lives will never be the same again.

We have learned a lot since Covid-19 arrived on our shores - and I’m not talking about online language courses or Zoom circuit classes. We have been reminded that it is still in our nature to look out for each other. We have lived through a time when we had no choice but to put our people before our economy. This lesson has come at a high price, so when we look at our summer flowers turning their faces to the sun, let us enjoy them, but let us never take them for granted again.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

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