is often thought to be equal to ‘this’ in English, which is basically correct. これ
will always be used to highlight something that is close to the speaker either emotionally, or physically.
Health. This is important. (Emotionally close)
This too? (Physically close)
This is candy. (Physically close)
Despite being translated as a ‘pronoun’ in English, it might be easier to think of これ
as a substitute noun (the literal meaning in Japanese), as this is always its function. これ
substitutes for something that has its own name, but is not required in the context of the sentence.