Tuesday 31 March 2020

The best of times, the worst of times.



This wretched virus has certainly made us think more about our priorities.

It has also made most of us think how very lucky we are to have lived so long and so well in very liberal societies. Those of us who live in 'first world' countries are extremely fortunate.

Yes, we've had knife crime, a drug epidemic, terrorism, and now COVID-19, but water continues to flow from our taps, electricity still issues forth from our plugs, our loos flush, and most of us have plenty of food in the store-cupboard. One only has to look at the favelas, shanty towns, and refugee villages around the world to know that we are extremely blessed, and that our systems of government are the best there are.

I'm no believer in gods and devils, but the bible does contain plenty of common sense. One short phrase that often comes to mind is Christ's Mandatum novum do vobis. Having washed the feet of his disciples, he commands them to 'love one another, as I have loved you'. With all our woes, we are seeing a return to this spirit of amitié. Neighbour is once again helping neighbour, people are making sure that those who are alone have everything they need, and people are applauding the selfless workers who look after us when we suffer.

Will good come from this appalling pandemic? I feel certain that it will.  When all is over, we will be more appreciative, more aware, and more cautious. For many, their financial circumstances will take a long time to recover, so any previous 'spend now, pay later' attitude will need serious review; which can only be a good thing.

Of course there have also been plenty of examples of profiteering from the epidemic. There will always be 'spivs' who leech off the unfortunate, who buy-up every bog roll in order to 'blackmail' the needy, or who fight in supermarkets over the last tin of beans. But these people are usually soon dealt with.

In general, I am hearing of kindness, of families communicating, and of benefaction. I do hope it will last, and that much of the previous selfishness will slowly disappear. My fingers are crossed.

Look after yourselves, and others.

57 comments:

  1. Hopefully it will bring out the best in us. Around here it is good to see more parents out walking with their children.

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    1. I hope so. Walking has now become our major pleasure; especially with the children.

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  2. Excellent post Cro, it has brought out the best in many people.

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    1. I'm sure the resulting social change will be for the good. People usually rise to the challenge of disaster.

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  3. I agree with you on every point. And meanwhile the planet seems to be recovering from the "virus" that is the human race.
    Let's take heart from that.
    Take care, Cro.

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    1. I suspect that that is one virus the world will never recover from. Partially maybe, but we've made an awful mess of things.

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  4. This worldwide lockdown is unprecedented so it's difficult to know how it will affect the future. It's heartening to see the kindness and bravery of people though.

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    1. The S E London Knife gangs seem to be staying at home, and I hear that the 'rough sleepers' (homeless) of central London have mostly gone home too. Little by little, things will change.

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  5. Little by little it will all go back to how it was.

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    1. Human nature will never change completely, but maybe there'll be a period of camaraderie, similar to the post-war era.

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  6. Certainly some people will have had their sense of 'entitlement' questionned, and perhaps they will become more aware and prudent. They will have learned that they can get by without expensive entertainment/new phones/new clothes all the time.
    Some might actually come to realise that the NHS is there for genuine illness and emergency!

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    1. I hope all that is so, especially re the NHS. I'm sure one thing that will register, is that people don't need to go shopping every five minutes!

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  7. It's great at the moment but I can see it going back to 'normal' as people get back into old routines.
    Memory fades fast. I hope something of the kindness remains.

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    1. I fear that this may be true.
      Judging by the comments that have been made on some public service social media posts, there are still many ignorant people out there whose sense of entitlement and utter selfishness may never change.

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    2. All we can hope for is that a good percentage will have taken note.

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    3. There's plenty of nasty comments abounding on social media all day long. Next they will be spreading arrangements for looting and we will not do anything fast enough to stop it. The Army I hope are ready. But we still have the civil rights and judges there to pounce that this is unfair and to tie the hands of government even in times of a national emergency.

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    4. The anti-police brigade will always find something to complain about. Only the law-abiding support them 100%.

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    5. They spread erroneous informaton and do not research the facts. The law abiding have nothing to worry about. Those who spit in the face of a police officer will be arrested for assault, or spit at a member of the public, they will be arrested for assault under the current Covid 19 police guidance. Those who behave reasonably, explain what they are doing, even if a mistake has been made, will be advised and sent on their way.

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    6. Whenever I hear people moaning about the police, I automatically presume that they wish to 'do something illegal' without interference.

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  8. My elderly aunt has lived in her block of flats for over 50 years and is only now meeting neighbours for the first time who are offering to help with shopping.

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    1. That's excellent, although the fact that it's taken all this time is rather sad.

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  9. A sobering and well-considered post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think you are right to suggest that in the midst of this horror show there is goodness.

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    1. Not everywhere, but certainly from the majority.

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  10. I've seen a lot of humanity recently cro

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  11. Hopefully now that the supermarkets are balancing out their toilet roll sales, and tinned and packeted stuff and peoples stashes are full, the spivs who bulk bought in order to make their fast buck will be stuck with all that cheap loo roll and those tins of beans and we will all have the last laugh.

    Keep safe, keep well and let's all rejoice in the good that is coming out of this terrible crisis.

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    1. I think I read of some fool who'd bought masses of hand sanitiser, and he is now banned from selling them.

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  12. Yes Cro - I feel like that too. Alright we hear of profiteers and of people who are not following the isolation rules but in the main most people are doing as they are told and in addition are helping anybody in need. Most people are kind.

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    1. Most people are kind and always have been and will remain so.

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    2. I don't really agree Rachel. Personally I find most to be self-centred and insular. It's only in times of great celebration or grief that they come together. I think people like to be kind and caring, but something holds them back.

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    3. I must just be lucky. I have never known people hold back. In fact village life here is almost too much sometimes.

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    4. It used to be so friendly here, but since a few badduns have moved into our tiny hamlet the atmosphere has totally changed. It's a real shame.

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  13. This post is so apt. I was watching a film of the refugee camp in Greece and the awful sanitations they have. If they get the virus there will be no chance of many of them getting over it. I looked around my kitchen and felt blessed.
    Briony
    x

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    1. And Africa will be annihilated. Those huge shanty towns are the perfect breeding grounds, with no sanitation and little medical care.

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  14. I’m afraid it may be too late. The time on the doomsday clock shows 100 seconds to midnight. Corona Viruses 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1 are waiting in the wings (literally). This time we’re in the Last Chance Saloon. And somebody locked the door.

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    1. On that cheery note, I shall go and do my backwoodsman act, and saw some logs.

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  15. It seems to me that crises like this bring out the best and the worst in society. I would like to think that 'the best' wins.

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    1. I'm sure it does. The baddies usually get found-out pretty quickly.

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  16. In the hardest of times, we see the best in people. The world is united in this tragedy and there is no way we will recover from this without us being changed. We are many countries but we all are human and all have been touched.

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    1. We're certainly all in this together, and we have a choice; we can either all help each other, or not. So far I mostly see helpers.

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  17. I’m afraid ‘ How quickly we forget ‘ springs to mind but maybe this virus will change our attitudes to some things in our lives ...... greed, a right to have everything, waste, selfishness ..... this virus may have been sent to show us all how wasteful and uncaring we all have been in varying degrees, and that we should clean up our act ! XXXX

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    1. Greed and waste have no place in modern society. If just these two 'sins' are rectified, it would be a major improvement.

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  18. This was a wonderful post that you've written, Cro. I agree with all you've said here, and you said it beautifully. Thank you.

    I hope you and your family continue to be safe and well, and I send you all my very best wishes. xx

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    1. We're all in this together, so I too hope everyone stays safe. The USA seems to be suffering more than most, so take great care of yourselves.

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  19. I love this post. Stay safe Cro.

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    1. Being way out in the countryside, I think we're probably less likely to become ill than many, but we will still eventually have to go shopping again, etc. We can but hope.

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  20. Heartening post today. I agree. I like to think that this will unite us globally rather than be divisive. It's very sad to think about the people in the world who have lived in terrible conditions while so many others with wealth have "pissed" money away on themselves. Keep writing Cro.

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    1. What you have written instantly reminded me of a certain young lady who spent £30,700 on a night out at a Mayfair club. I still find these examples of excess to be thoroughly irresponsible, and hopefully will stop. If you wish to know what I'm talking about, type 'very expensive piss' into the search strip, top left.

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    2. perfect example, Cro. makes me ill.

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  21. Cro, I definitely feel this Pandemic is a 'wake-up' call. And yes, we are blessed (some more than others)... but hopefully we are willing to share these blessings. People really need to realize that we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

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    1. Absolutely. I'm sure that most have 'woken up'.... I just hope they stay that way.

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  22. It does feel like a reset button is being pressed, and there'll be some for whom a change in their lifestyle will be welcomed, but there'll be many who want to pick up where they left off when we come out of this. But I'd like to think you're right and that our best qualities will come to the fore and remain there.

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    1. I expect most will try to carry on as before, but hopefully with a renewed sense of responsibility to our fellow man.

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  23. I applaud every single thing you wrote.
    I will only add: BUY LOCAL, VACATION IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY, and for God's sake, let's not buy ANYTHING FROM CHINA AGAIN !!!

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    1. Maybe our countries need to start manufacturing all those silly things we currently buy from China.

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