From the President’s pen: A state of emergency  

A state of emergency or preparedness are words that easily evoke a vague feeling of fear as a result of history.

It is better to take the words at face value and not read too much into them. We talk about emergencies or disruptions, when things depart from the norm. If there is a reason to get prepared, we are in a state of preparedness. The coronavirus has had a profound impact on our lives: steps have been taken to curb it and new actions are being planned.

While these words also represent legal concepts, they are no more dramatic because of that. If a state of emergency is found to exist and if extraordinary powers are needed, it makes sense to introduce them.

The whole world is in a state of emergency. Nobody can say how things will turn out in the end, but we can already see that the effects are profound and enduring.

Our daily lives will be inevitably affected and we will be compelled to face a reality, in which our thoughts and actions are dominated by health, livelihood and consideration for others.

First and foremost, these concerns quite naturally extend to the people closest to us. But ultimately, this is not just about them. It is about everybody.

We need one another. Now it is important to support those who to serve others, from healthcare personnel to retail staff. Yes, the customer is still the king, but we are called upon to ensure the continuity of services and take this into account when going about our business.

The public sector is focusing its efforts on protecting those most at risk. But there is still plenty of things to do for others. The examples of neighbourly help and assistance that we have witnessed are encouraging and reassuring.

The first economic blows will be felt by the service sector. Others too will suffer serious losses, and we need to share the burden.

A week ago I wrote: We will make it. It still holds true.

Sauli Niinistö