There are many who are living with the fear and anxiety of now, trying to protect their families who already have respiratory problems or auto-immune diseases and are even more at risk. There are families who have lost friends, loved ones and the speed with which it has happened has shaken them to their core. There are care workers who feel over exposed and their families miss them. There are many who are questioning what their lives are going to look like in the future, what is happening with their jobs, what will the economy look like in the future. Will their lives be the same or will it be different?
There are no easy solutions to all these questions, there’s no manual for the times we are in. We are working our way through one day at a time, sometimes with shared resources, other times with less resources than we perceive we need. Ultimately, we have little say in changing our lives in the short term, adapting to the circumstances around all of us. But what about the longer term? Will we want to rush back to our previous sense of normality – will it even be possible – or will we want to change our lives in a way that opens us up to our common humanity?
There are countless ways I’ve seen people reach out: shopping runs for the elderly, free music online, group clapping or pictures of hearts being placed in windows for our tired and overworked care workers, virtual calls to family and friends to make sure they are ok. People who might not have said hello when walking their dog, are searching for human contact, even just a smile from their neighbour. Is it me, or are we realizing just how much we can achieve together rather than alone?
The UN Secretary General, Antonia Guterres, has called for a global ceasefire and many countries have already responded positively. There is less pollution in the air. People are buying seeds, looking at growing herbs and other foods locally to support themselves and other families (keep supporting your local farmers market!). Is it possible that in lockdown, in an enforced isolation , that we are growing more of a sense of community, that we are seeing the best of our natures and that, despite any anxieties and fears, we are collectively pulling together?
However you feel about our current times, I wish you and your family love, peace and comfort. Each of us will have our own journey, but from my perspective at least, we are so in this together. What becomes of our new world is not just in the hands of a few, it’s shaped by everyone as a whole.