This question will be asked for years to come. It will define us in the same way that this question defined previous generations caught up in pivotal moments. The difference today, it that it is not only the physically heroic or publicly brave who will be admired, but the selfless and considerate.
So, the question will be ‘What did you do in The Great Pandemic – for other people?’….did you keep up the spirits of your relatives, friends, neighbours?…did you build up your colleagues?…did you help get needed supplies to the suffering?…did you share the pain of your suppliers and customers?
Some have, indeed, been called to heroism in medical and organisational labour (remember the 4,000 bed hospital built in an exhibition centre in London – in just 10 days?). We rightly celebrate the medical staff on the ‘frontline’ – and many did indeed work under wartime conditions – getting the job done with inadequate equipment, too few people, and exhausting hours, made harder by the protective equipment they had to wear. They may not have chosen greatness, but greatness was certainly thrust upon them.
This has been talked about a good deal – and rightly so, but my focus here is on what we can do.
So…what have you done for other people? If the answer does not satisfy your conscience, it is not too late. The number of cases and deaths may be dropping, but the consequences will be with us for many months. Businesses will fold, people will become unemployed – or have unsustainable debt. Mental affliction is only just starting – we know that for many, the symptoms will appear once the trauma winds down, and we need to be alert for that.
A lot can be done to prevent or mitigate these outcomes – so find what you can do – and do it.
Stay Safe – and Help Someone