THESE are challenging times when we all need to pull together while staying apart.
Since the Covid-19 crisis began Independent.ie has reported on the everyday heroes in our health service and communities.
And now we want to create something positive ourselves.
Over the coming weeks, the promise of a hopeful future will be our motivation to help stem the spread of Covid-19.
Independent.ie is asking readers to make a promise’ for when normality returns.
It could be to yourself, somebody in your family, a neighbour or wider society.
All we ask is that you follow NelsonMandela’s advice and allow “your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”.
Submissions should be no more than 100 words and emailed to email@example.com.
The response has already been huge and today we publish the first selection of entries, including one from Health Minister Simon Harris.
Health Minister Simon Harris
Hope lives inside all of us. It is often overshadowed by fear, doubt, or worry. Hope is not ignoring the challenges ahead of us or shirking from what is in front of us. But it is the knowledge that the future can and will be written by the actions of the men, women and children of this country. Throughout these difficult and challenging times, our sense of solidarity and community will keep us going.
We have asked people to stay physically apart, while ensuring we feel together.
I hope we can look back when the crisis ends, and it will end, with pride and gratitude. Knowing we did our best for ourselves and each other. Grateful for those who helped us along the way and those who stood tall in the face of challenge. I hope we will stay together, stay united and stay in touch.
My greatest hope is that we continue to hope and that hope trumps fear, doubt or worry.
'Dancing with the Stars' and 2fm presenter Jennifer Zamparelli
I'm going to promise myself to never say no to a party, a dinner date, a walk with a friend or coffee catch-up with my girlfriends ever again.
I used to be great at saying no to birthdays, parties, events, nights out because I just didn't feel like it. I will never take for granted the joy of being out and about ever again. I will welcome the spillage of a drink over my outfit in a busy bar, the random chats in the queue for the toilets and all the loveliness of being around and having the craic with complete strangers.
I miss my pals and family so much but also connecting with random people. So I promise myself to take the opportunity to put more effort into my social life.... before my gym session or even work (don't tell 2fm) because I miss it so much now. Connecting with people is such an important part of our lives.
Former 'Nationwide' presenter Mary Kennedy
The thing I am most looking forward to is holding my 11-month-old grandson Paddy. He and my daughter (his mother) were living with me until March while their home was being renovated; and while I'm thrilled he, his mother and father are all together at their new home in Limerick, I miss everything about him. His smile. His smell. The softness of his skin. Him clapping hands and waving. I cannot wait to hug and kiss him, and just embrace his innocence; his pure being. His loveliness.
Designer and presenter Brendan Courtney
I would make a promise to cook a family dinner, for all of them in my house. I've never done it. I miss them. I'm very close to them all but I've never gotten them all together. I'd always threatened to host Christmas and never did so, if and when I can, I'll host Christmas for my entire family.
They've all hosted dinner for us - my two sisters, my mum - and I have never. Last year I said, "This is it, I'm hosting Christmas!" and I said to my other sister, "I'm going to get a caterer in". She was appalled, because they've all cooked. They said a caterer was cheating and if I got a caterer in they wouldn't come. So I said, "Well if you're not going to accept catering I'm not doing it". And I regret that now. I should have done it.
Radio presenter Doireann Garrihy
I promise to hit the road to Co Clare more frequently and spend time with my family there. My grandparents live there, as does my sister Aoibhín, her husband John and their two beautiful babies - Hanorah and Líobhan. The first thing I'm going to do is give my nieces a squeeze! Well, both them and my grandparents.
I would dearly like to have all my 15 grandchildren, and their parents, here in my home to have a belated celebration of Easter and our annual Easter egg hunt. It has long been a tradition that our entire family (29 of us) come here at Easter. We will have such joy and happiness as we come out of this dark period. We have never known times like these and we pray that we never will again.
The independent family run B&Bs that dot the west coast of Ireland have been savaged by this crisis. This summer I promised myself to do the top half of the Wild Atlantic Way, top of Donegal down to Inis Mór, visiting as many of them as I can. My resolve has not changed. I cannot wait to take a deep breath of fresh salty Atlantic air, and chat with the various mná & fir na dtithe along the coast from Malin Head to Kilronan over countless cups of tea. A beauty like no other.
A promise to my mother and father; when all of this is over we will embrace, put on the kettle and settle down beside the fire. Your grandson will roll around on the floor and delight you with his new sounds. My brothers and sisters, their spouses and kids will descend on your home, and the quiet will be banished. Your house will be restored to our favourite meeting place, the one with the hottest fires and the warmest hugs. We all miss you. See you both soon.
When this is over, I promise to work hard to get healthy and stay healthy. I'm going to lose weight and keep it off, eat more healthily and take more regular exercise. Nothing dramatic, a stone ... or two would make all the difference, but it would be the best gift I could ever give myself. It might also mean I could be here a bit longer to enjoy my family and friends.
We are an Italian couple, but our hearts belong to Ireland. We had planned our sixth trip in Ireland for April, but unfortunately we had to postpone it until October (hoping that everything will go well). My promise is to go to Croagh Patrick where, once we reach the top, I will ask my boyfriend to marry me.
When this is all over I will take Aioleann, my great granddaughter, to a garden centre to buy a tree for her garden as they have just moved into a new home.
Carol (Toronto, Canada)
When all this is passed and people come out of it safe and well, I promise we'll get you home my love and you'll eat sausages on Brennans bread until your belly bursts. You'll help granddad build that leprechaun trap so he can finally strike it rich and granny will sneak you buttons even when I've said "enough with the chocolate already". I promise you'll run wild in the fields with a gaggle of cousins plotting your next adventure. And I promise as we fly over that Emerald Isle it'll look just like it did the last time we saw it because that is always where your village is and your village is always ready with open arms.
Gardaí on the beat have been assigned one partner for the coming weeks and their shifts have been altered to avoid overlap to minimise contact with other colleagues in a bid to stay safe while out on patrol during the coronavirus outbreak.