Photo by cheng feng on  Unsplash

COVID-19: Humanity on display

Silver linings to a virus-shaped cloud

Yes, COVID-19 may be causing us fear, uncertainty, isolation, sickness and even fatalities, but I have also been absolutely overwhelmed by the simultaneous expressions of humanity, faith, care, and concern. I have been overwhelmed by the numerous messages to assist, and volunteer, and help, to provide aid for the elderly, the infirm, the vulnerable, and the exposed. The humanity on display in Whatsapp groups, community groups, charity organisations, and even just individuals on Instagram:

This willingness to help others which seems very distant from the messages from the government today.

They say in Wuhan for the first time after an era you can hear the birds overhead again.

They say the sky is no longer thick with fumes, clear and blue.

In Italy, neighbours have been singing to each other across their balconies to dispel the loneliness and chase away the isolation. They are keeping windows and doors open so they can be together and hear the companionship of others.

I received the flyer below via WhatsApp, asking people to print and distribute to help others in their local communities.

All over the world people have remembered the importance of humanity: love thy neighbour.

Remembering what is important.

There is fear but there is also solidarity, togetherness, unity and humanity.

The messages given today discussed the isolation of the elders within our communities and the most vulnerable. The answers were not forthcoming. The answers were not provided, the solutions, the means, the methods, the logistics: these were all largely absent.

Why does the UK think we don’t need to follow the example of the nations that have already weathered the storm?

Why would we not look to the examples of places where the virus has been dealt with successfully and follow their model?

The level of arrogance was actually alarming. Boris Johnson went on national television last week and said we, the populous of 66 million, should ‘take it on the chin’. We are not going to win in our fight with a pandemic with a stiff upper lip and a ‘Keep calm and carry on’ attitude.

Why are we not learning from our European counterparts? Is this the British sovereignty that we are reclaiming, the arrogant way the ‘we know best’ way? The ‘we can do this on our own’ way? The ‘we know what we are doing’ way?

If this pandemic teaches us anything, it should be that we are all in it together, and that we must respond as individuals, as communities, and as humanity as a whole.