Monday 20th April 2020

We find ourselves caught in the midst of this invisible virus that seeming strikes without warning.  It has been described as cunning and smart.  It occurs to me that this virus, this pandemic is the great leveller.  Recently we have gone through one of the most decisive times in my lifetime.  People across the nation have been have been split politically and morally, in areas of the world we have heard leaders pointing fingers of blame at China, Russia, Europe.  Islamaphobia and anti-semitism has been rife in the news and across all platforms of social media.  People living in fear of their data being stolen and used against.  Computer hacking in the name of journalism to ridicule and demean people.  We have heard how “we’re better than them”, “Their bad people.” “Their ideology or belief is wrong.”
Difference has been the pandemic of recent times, and now, in the midst of this terrible pandemic, we are suddenly more equal than we have ever been.  A virus has developed and is unleashed and suddenly nobody is safe.  Suddenly we have all been weighed and measured.  As we find ourselves locked down for the fifth week, watching death tolls rise and fall and people try to find a new norm.  We are all equal, equally at risk of this terrible virus that has us baffled and struggling to rise above it.
It is here that we have begun to find common ground, here where we have been forced to stop, and pause, and take notice of what is around us, what has always been around us.  We have begun to realise who our heroes are, who they’ve always been, and together on a Thursday night, we have come together and clapped for them, we have been moved by a 99 year old man walking round his garden.  We have been weighed, we have been measured and we have been found wanting as we look towards these amazing individuals who are delivering food and ensuring our letters still get posted, who are standing at cash registers risking their health and thei lives amidst anger and frustration.
We are now faced with the most challenging and important time in my lifetime, which is to stop and pause and reflect and take this important time to think about what happens next when the lockdown ends.  Do we reflect on this opportunity and use this time to improve our life and that of others.  Only time will tell how we will use this time for the betterment of ourselves as individuals and as a society.
Take time to stop, to think and to learn, in ten years time, how will you have improved as a result of what is happening now?
Take care and stay safe
Sincerely Yours, Paul