We’ve been at home, oscillating between hope and fear, for a year. But we still don’t know if the world will emerge from Covid-19 a better place.
THERE’S A GUY I KNOW, once sort of a friend, who then grew really to dislike me.
It wasn’t as if I loved him, either: he was a call-a-spade-a-spade sort of person, and could be blunt and insensitive. But it still hurt me when – abruptly – he decided that I was a wrong ’un.
A few years ago, I heard that the same bloke had suffered a serious – and surprising – bout of depression. Word had it that he’d been signed off work for weeks after telling his doctor: “I just can’t get out of bed.”
Having suffered with the condition for much of my life, I’d never have wished depression upon him, however much we disliked one another.
But, at the same time, I wanted him to learn something from it.
Now he knew what depression was like, maybe he’d be a bit humbler? Perhaps a little more understanding about what people like me went through?
In other words, I hoped he’d come out of his dark place somehow better.
But it never happened: this bloke recovered, he went back to work and normal life, and the next time I bumped into him, he was spectacularly hurtful and rude. In other words, just the same boorish prick he’d always been.
So why am I telling this story? Because, when I think about the post-Covid world, I worry that it’ll be like my former friend after his ordeal: just the same…
It’s the shortest day today, which always means there’s light after the darkness
THERE’S BEEN a lorra lorra gnashing and wailing in the UK this week, after the Government did yet another U-turn and cancelled Christmas.
Faced with a highly infectious new coronavirus strain in London and the south east of England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned Christmas travel to and from the capital – and restricted festive visiting nationwide to December 25.
While no-one is arguing much with the need for stricter measures, pretty much everybody thinks the timing of Johnson’s announcement stinks.
Just days earlier, he had said it would be “inhuman” to deny Brits a proper Christmas after nine months of worry, sacrifice and hardship.
Yet the announcement did precisely that, coming just as millions were putting presents under the tree for relatives who now won’t be able to open them – and buying Christmas treats that now can’t be shared with loved ones.
It’s all very well clapping them every Thursday night, but why not thank key workers properly when the Coronavirus storm blows over?
AT THE END of World War One, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George promised to build 500,000 new homes as a reward for the sacrifices ordinary people had made.
Only 200,000 of them were completed, but for many of those lucky enough to move into a new home, it was their first experience of electricity, running water, bathrooms, indoor toilets and gardens.
By 1939, more than a million council houses had been built across the UK, and in 1948 – three years after victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two – the Government again thanked people for their fortitude with the creation of the National Health Service (applause!).
The Coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the greatest challenge to face this country – and the world – since the 1940s, with ordinary people likes nurses, care home workers and bus drivers again at the forefront of the fight.
When all of this has blown over – and we look at ways of saying ‘Thank You’ to our key workers – we could do worse than building them somewhere decent to live again.