The world remains, rightly so, fixated on the Coronavirus Crisis. After all, it is the greatest challenge we have faced for generations. The impact on health and lives is devastating for so many and our thoughts are with all those directly affected.
In response to the Pandemic, specifically to shield the vulnerable, protect Health Services and to save lives, Governments all round the world have put social distancing measures in place. These continue to impact peoples’ daily lives from mobility, how we shop, to how children are educated, how adults work, how much we can exercise outside and beyond. Whilst such measures are needed, they come at a very high social and economic price which will be felt far beyond when the Crisis is over.
Apart from the obvious devastation from those who have sadly lost their lives to Coronavirus, many people have lost their jobs or been furloughed, livelihoods have been decimated, charities have folded and businesses have gone under - in short, economies have been shattered.
Given all this, it is not surprising that Lockdown is causing rising mental health issues and there are reports of increases in domestic abuse cases too. In a time when we experience so much darkness …
…….Ironically, we have also never been more challenged in the modern era to “come together” whilst told to stay apart, to defeat this common enemy (Covid-19).
But the British are rising to the challenge. Through these tough times, individuals like Captain (now Colonel!) Tom and his 100th birthday walk for the NHS, are making a difference. Communities are also coming together - just look at how the nation is clapping for Carers on Thursday nights, the adoption of rainbows in peoples' windows, to all the distant dancing being done on streets up and down the country.
Furthermore, new charities and fundraising initiatives are being born to support our NHS heroes, Care Workers, other key workers, those who are vulnerable and homeless. In addition, there are great stories of innovation and adaption from organisations that are battling the storm, to those businesses who have temporary had to close their doors partially or fully - many have taken on the task of making Visors, PPE equipment and also joined the race to deliver much needed Ventilators for the NHS. And we are learning so much, particularly how we depend on so many sectors, organisations and people working on the frontline who are typically not well paid and despite the risks to themselves, do what they do, to support us all.
These stories of kindness, creativity and positivity are inspirational and don't just provide glimmers of light in what seems like a dark time but represent a beacon of hope; shed light on a bright future with a strong message about how even when apart we can be together as a force for good.
There is much uncertainty still ahead and it is likely the return to any sense of social normality will be gradual. However, I do believe WE can weather the storm if:
WE recognise that whilst WE are all in the same turbulent waters, many of us, will be in different boats
WE are present - living the moment
WE share a positive mindset
WE capitalise on technology for education, work solutions and for connecting with family and friends
WE continue to practise social distant measures and guidelines
WE maintain an appreciation of what really matters - life and love…
WE accept what we can, and let go of what we can't, control
And above all, WE are kind and compassionate to each other.
A Physician once said “The best medicine for humans is love”. Someone asked, “What if it doesn’t work?” He smiled and said, “Increase the dose”.
The power of WE in such challenging times can not be underestimated - WE; will always be stronger together even when physically apart.