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A 1993 poem from President Michael D. Higgins is the motivation between the HSE’s latest COVID-19 campaign, Hold Firm.

‘Take Care’ was the name of the poem penned by Higgins 27 years ago. It is now being used by the HSE as they continue to encourage the public to continue to follow advice to reduce the impact of COVID-19 across the country. To date, over 23,000 cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland since the outbreak of the virus.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, a spokesperson for the HSE underlined the importance of continuing to follow guidelines from the country’s leading health officials. “For the last number of weeks and months everyone in Ireland has taken steps to flatten the curve, to protect our health service and save lives. These actions have reduced the impact of COVID-19 on the country and our health service. Now we need to motivate and inspire people to keep going with those actions that help us to stay safe and protect each other.

“Staying away from the people we love and the things we enjoy is not easy. It’s not us. But, this is us, taking care of each other, supporting our colleagues on the frontline and essential services, and the people most at risk in communities all across the country”.

Take Care, a poem Michael D Higgins
In the journey to the light,
the dark moments should not threaten.
that you hold steady.
Bend, if you will,
with the wind.
The tree is your teacher,
roots at once
more firm
from experience
in the soil
made fragile.

Your gentle dew will come
and a stirring
of power
to go on
towards the space
of sharing.

In the misery of the I,
in rage,
it is easy to cry out
against all others
but to weaken
is to die
in the misery of knowing
the journey abandoned
towards the sharing
of all human hope
and cries
is the loss
of all we know
of the divine
for our shared
Hold firm.
Take care.
Come home

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