There’s never a bad time to quote Seamus Heaney. “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.”
The day we finally rid ourselves of the curse of Covid will be one to celebrate, but let’s not be fooled into thinking that will be the end of the problems.
The aftershocks will be felt long into the future and Northern Ireland will have to re-adjust to the Covid economy.
Today Danske Bank warn that signs of recovery shown in 2021 are slowing.
Projections on economic growth have been adjusted. The outlook is not as bright as previously hoped.
And while the report does predict some sectors, such as hospitality, arts and entertainment, will continue to have rapid bounce back this year it has to be remembered they’re coming back from as low as base as they’ve ever been at.
And we still have to get through the Omicron variant, which has derailed an initial recovery and has seen 2022 get off to a slow start on top of a painful end to 2021.
Should another variant await around the corner, any hope of that potential recovery would be pushed even further down the track.
Everywhere you look there are hurdles to overcome in the business world. Rising energy prices, cost of living increases and people having to take time off work through Covid isolation issues have all put a pinch on the public’s spending purse.
There’s not as much money in pockets as there used to be.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
A separate survey from the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce shows most members are expecting their business to grow this year.
And if the economy can survive through this, the pace of recovery will pick up.
It remains a time for gritting teeth and hanging in there. The business community knows what it is facing and has weathered the storm for nearly two years.
There will be hay made in sunnier days. They just aren’t here quite yet.
What remains vital is that the business community gets the support it needs to hold on a little longer.
What the country doesn’t need, though, is distraction. It needs leaders who lead, and lead well.
The odds will be even more in our favour if differences are set aside for the common good, political parties support the decision makers rather than chip away at them from behind, assuming those decision makers earn the trust of the nation and show that, once and for all, we are actually all in this together.