Lots of people have posted about the virus. I’m hoping that this post looks at things from a slightly different angle to most posts so please do read on.
I make no apologies for amending the quote from the Lord of the Rings for the blog title. For those who don’t know the book well it refers to a character who, once presented with important information has the opportunity to change their decision and allow the hero to continue with their quest rather than use the situation for his and his kin’s benefit.
With everything that is happening surrounding the virus I can see the same opportunity.
Let me start by saying that my heart goes out to anyone who has or does lose a relative or friend as a result of the virus. Having lost someone through an incurable disease I am aware of how distressing it is, especially when there is nothing you can do to stop the virus / disease doing its worst. I hope what I am about to say doesn’t create offense. That is certainly not its intention.
Lots has already been posted about the virus and it’s not my intention to revisit the medical side of things, the panic buying, or even the media (social and mainstream) coverage which seems to want to focus on hyping things up. Whether it is intentional or through ignorance I’m not sure and to be honest I’m not sure which is worse, but as I said, that isn’t the main purpose of this post.
I want to focus on our reaction to the situation. We are in the midst of a situation where, as I’ve said, we have the opportunity to prove humanity’s worth. While I believe that we are all flawed people with our own failings, I also believe that there is incredible goodness to be found in people.
A politician made an observation recently that if there is anything good that can come out of this virus, it is that we should be good to each other. By this I think she meant that we learn, or re-learn, how to care for each other again. I don’t mean in the sense of being a carer, but of being able to show concern for others. Be it our friends, our family or our neighbours (next door and further afield).
There is a great opportunity to rebuild a sense of community that I believe has been gradually disappearing, especially in urban environments. How aware are we of our neighbours? Would we notice if they aren’t doing what they normally would be? Is there something we can do to help them out? We know that the virus is particularly dangerous for the elderly, so can we help by doing their supermarket shop at the same time as our own. I’m not saying pay for it, but help them enabling them to stay at home away from others who may have the virus without knowing it. There’s probably a whole host of things we can do and I’ll leave it to you to work out what (if anything as I accept that there may be some who can’t help) you can do to help out.
All these things may already be happening. I hope they are. The problem we have though is that it is not making the news coverage. From the coverage that we do see it would lead you to believe that humanity is not showing its worth. I have heard of people stealing toilet rolls and hand sanitisers from hospitals. Of course this may well be the media choosing to focus on the negative as it makes better ‘press’ and the positive doesn’t. Of course the problem with that approach is that people don’t get to be encouraged to do the positive things as they don’t believe anyone else is.
Therefore I encourage you to ignore the version of humanity that the media wants to show us. Let’s think about the good that we can do in the current situation. Let’s use the current situation as a chance for humanity to prove its worth.