We have now learned that the shut down will continue for 3 more weeks. I hope this didn’t come as a surprise to anyone as efforts to shield the NHS have never been so important. There is however hope. The numbers are showing a flattening of the curve and measures that have been taking are starting to work.
There are also many signs of hope from the unintended consequences of this pandemic. Fish can now be seen swimming in the canals of Venice. For the first time in 30 years you can now see the Himalayas from Delhi, 150km away. And the lions in South Africa’s national parks have been seen sunbathing on the roads, where tourists once dominated, reclaiming the land that was rightfully theirs. The climate has never had such a moment to rejuvenate.
There’s also hope that this time to reflect on our values could have lasting effect. Remember that time when tap water wasn’t good enough and people felt the need to buy plastic bottled water? I’m hoping people will realise how unnecessary that was. But what else on reflection has been unnecessary? I have been contemplating how much money I’ve saved with so little to buy. But is it money saved or money once wasted? My clothes still fit and serve their purpose, my phone still makes calls, and the need to consume things now seems pointless. What material possession would you trade to have human connection again? I hope we reflect on what we “need”, what we “desire”, and what makes us truly happy.
With hope often comes wonder. I wonder what changes in society will occur. I wonder what will be the first thing people will want to do when this ends. Will it be to buy something or to hug someone? Will we be the generation who lived through something that fundamentally changed our values? Will we start to respect our environment?
We live under house arrest, unable to indulge in materialistic consumerism, but fundamentally faced with the recognition that – your health is your wealth. I hope from all of this people realise that the only real estate you truly own is your body. And whilst there are people right now on ventilators struggling for air, each breath we take represents something we should never take for granted. It represents hope for the future, a future that we can create with a collective will and spirit of never, EVER, giving up.
In the words on Captain Tom, “For all those finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”