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  • Writer's pictureHenrietta

COVID-19 times

What an interesting time to be alive.

Horrible in so very many ways. We are watching vulnerable and less vulnerable people suffering and feel we can do nothing.

We are told that we can help by staying at home, and the vast majority of us are doing that – through fear of being out, through understanding that this is the only plan at the moment, through the desire not to overload the amazing NHS and everyone who is giving so much there, through just wanting to trust the people we have elected for times like this, whether we voted for them of not.

And when I see people out having picnics, parties, barbecues, I get cross. How can they do that? Why don’t they understand what they are doing? Why don’t they understand that this is not about them, it’s about the whole of society, it's about having a health care system that is there for people who need it; for heart attacks, for strokes, for falls, for asthma, for babies arriving. For all of us when we need it

But they don’t. Understand. Or seem to anyway. We can't be being clear enough

As a result the parks may be closed for us all, and I catch myself getting even crosser - but if they don't understand, they simply don't understand. It's not deliberate, it's just that they haven't thought it through. Haven't thought that this applies to everyone because we ARE society it's us that can do this!

But we made society like this. We encouraged the individual. We encouraged belief in rights. Belief that we can do what we want to. Belief that everyone is responsible for them self.

Someone I know well told me that homeless people have chosen to live on the streets. He meant it, he believed it. I'm fairly sure he has never slept on a street, and very luckily neither have I. I'd be scared and cold, terrified, totally unable to sleep - but my friend would think I'd chosen that.

When did we decide to live like this? When did we decide that we were each more important than anyone else? That we make individual choices when we clearly don't, like being homeless. And that the choices we do make, like ignoring fellow humans, are reasonable choices

People stand on stages and tell us we can achieve. "If I can do it so can you!" is fairly common - and what does that say?

It says that if you don't have that much money it's your own fault. If you aren't famous, you didn't try hard enough. That being famous or rich is what counts, it's what we need to aspire to.

And they are wrong.

We are finding out just how shallow it is to live like that. We are finding out who really counts. We are finding out who looks after the vulnerable and weak, who looks after us when we need help.

And it's not people standing on stages, no matter how much they are paid. It's the ordinary people who care. They care about their fellow human beings. They care about the way we are using the planet. They care about using their lives to make a difference for other human beings.

Without recognition.

Until now.

We are finally waking up to true values.

We are waking up to the idea that we can each contribute and help to make our society more cohesive not less. More united, less elitist.

It took a global pandemic.

Lets hope it lasts when we get to the other side of this and we can, together, build a society that is more caring.

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