‘Every man for himself’ is not a solution to pandemic, pope says
As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families.
“Each (country) must find concrete solutions depending on their situation, but of course, ‘every man for himself,’ is not a solution,” the pope said in an interview via Skype that aired in Spain on 22nd March. “A business that lays off employees to save itself is not a solution. In this moment, instead of laying off, we must welcome and make everyone feel that there is a society of solidarity.”
When told by Spanish journalist Jordi Evole that business leaders could argue that he may not be knowledgeable business management and the struggles of maintaining a business with staggering production losses, the pope said they were right in their assertion.
But, he continued: “I do know the hardships that will face the employee, the workers and their families. And there are certain realities appearing, and we are being asked to take care of those realities.”
Commenting on the images of him blessing an empty St Peter’s Square at the end of his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis said that the square has become “a desert.”
Although he does not meet with groups, the pope said he still holds personal meetings “every hour or every half-hour, and I continue to work normally.”
He was also asked if he was an “optimist” when it came to how the world would be after the current crisis is over.
“I don’t like that word because optimism sounds to me like makeup,” something false and superficial, he said. “I have hope in humanity, in men and women, and I have hope in the people. I have a lot of hope (in) the people who will take lessons from this crisis to rethink their lives. We are going to come out better, although there will be fewer of us, of course. Many will remain on the path and it is hard. But I have faith we will come out of this better.”
While all of Italy has been on lockdown since 9th March and Spain followed suit on 14th March, more and more countries have begun to adopt similar measures in an effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Picture: Panic buying in the UK continues amid constant Covid-19 and coronavirus updates. (Om1/Zuma Press/PA).