THE CORONAVIRUS spread is acknowledged as being the worst crisis the western world has faced since World War 2, but as so often happens in difficult times, the best of humanity shines through.
Such is the case in Ireland, where hundreds of people are infected with Covid-19, two people have died, and cases are expected to rise to 15,000 by the end of the month.
With the health service struggling, a request was made to the Irish people: be on call for Ireland.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) asked "all healthcare professionals from all disciplines who are not already working in the public health service to register to be on call for Ireland.
"We will be creating extra hospital and care beds and will need extra hands to provide the care that’s needed. We need your help to meet the challenge that’s ahead.
"Maybe you aren’t a healthcare professional, maybe you’re studying to be one, or maybe you have other skills to offer or just want to volunteer to do your bit if needed.
"Hopefully we won’t need to call, and if we do, we may not need every one of you. But knowing you are there if we do will make all the difference."
The heartfelt call to help the country and its people resonated with many-- 24,000 people in just 24 hours, in fact.
People from all walks of life, from healthcare workers to students to volunteers, put their hands up and offered their help.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris, announced the figures with an emotional and hopeful post on Twitter where he said:
"In the last 24 hours, 24,000 people have contacted [the HSE] responding to our call for help!
"Ireland, I love you! What an amazing national effort.
"Thank you so much. Let's keep at it."
In the last 24 hours, 24,000 people have contacted the @HSELive responding to our call for help! Ireland, I love you! What an amazing national effort. Thank you so much. Let’s keep at it. Go to https://t.co/FcV6QXIHGE and see if you can help #coronavirus #Covid19
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 18, 2020
Irish Rugby offered their support for the HSE's call for help with a new version of the Irish Rugby anthem 'Ireland's Call'-- where well-known players banded together to make a video explaining how everyone in Ireland can do their part to stop the spread of the virus.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 18, 2020
If you are in Ireland and want to offer help to the HSE, Ireland and its people, you can visit the registration page here.