As I write this the Government has announced a partial relaxation of the lockdown so life can begin to return to some kind of normality. But what is the world going to be like in the future?
Over the past weeks life has slowed down considerably, for some anyway, and we have had more time to take stock and decide what are the most important things in our lives. In some respects life has become more caring. We have become more aware of our neighbours and their needs, helping with shopping, collecting prescriptions and generally offering support where needed, especially to those who have no relatives or whose family are too far away to be able to do this. Some have met their neighbours for the first time after many years living close by. This is a positive outcome of the lockdown and hopefully will not change as for many of the elderly the last weeks have just been a continuation of their normal isolation, albeit a bit more stringent. Isolation and loneliness among the elderly is a major problem, so let us not go backwards but continue to care for each other in the future.
These weeks of isolation have been blessed with good weather and those lucky enough to have gardens have been able to enjoy it. I don’t think I am alone in noticing the birdsong which seems so much louder without the background drone of traffic which is noticeably absent these days along with aircraft noise and the sky seems so much clearer and a brighter blue without the pollution the traffic brings. Are these signs of how life could be if we could just cut our pollutions levels in the future?
However I do think that these weeks of isolation have underlined the fact that we are not meant to live in isolation – we are social beings, we need each other in order to survive and thrive. In the book of Genesis chapter 2 v 18 it says ‘ then the Lord God said, ‘it is not good that the man should be alone’. We need each other and this lockdown has shown this to be so important therefore we need to continue the mutual support that has been so necessary in these weeks to continue in some way. We need to be aware of our neighbours even if it is just to say ‘hello’ now and again, to notice if they are not around to check they are OK.
If anything good can come from this awful pandemic let it be a heightened awareness of those around us and a strengthening of the community spirit which has always been part of life in Banstead.