There has much reference to “Blitz spirit” in the face of the Covid 19 which rather overlooks the fact that, whilst many came good during the period of the second world war, many others gave themselves over to criminal enterprise, sin and selfishness. The truth is that humanity does not change in a crisis- we just see good and bad in people more clearly. Today I want to highlight four in each camp.
HEALTH WORKERS: they will be pushed to stretching point in the weeks ahead and the sacrifice they take to help others is evident. Thank them and hold them in your prayers every day.
FOODIES: All involved in growing, harvesting, producing, transporting and selling goods are going to be vital to help feed a nation and stop mass panic.
POLITICIANS: It is easy to dehumanise politicians and only criticise. Yet they are working under enormous strain to steer us wisely. I particularly commend Boris Johnson for not leading by ego but turning instead to obvious experts. This brings great reassurance.
EMERGENCY SERVICES & MILITARY: If things get silly the police and army are on high alert to keep us safe in the weeks and months ahead.
We will all know people in these categories and there will be others too. Those helping to construct hospitals and procure equipment for example. We must pray and care for them. If you know somebody who will be overloaded in the weeks ahead how can you help them? Can you offer to look after children instead of vulnerable grandparents? Could you cook them a meal at the end of a busy shift? Think hard- do your bit.
PANIC SHOPPERS: As if our government is not busy enough dealing with a medical crisis, selfish morons have hoarded goods and are busy creating a second crisis; one of shortage. If authorities are forced to police supermarkets and ration goods it will take them away from dealing with the virus. If you are stocking up for a zombie apocalypse shame on you; get a grip and STOP IT.
FAKE EXPERTS: Lord save us from fake experts on the internet. Just because you are a medic does not mean you have expertise when it comes to dealing with pandemic. The experts are informing the government and they are not idiots. Indeed the UK has global experts in this field. They are choosing the right moment to implement strategy and we do well to listen to them and drown out the rest. They are not helped when people undermine the advice they give and ignore them.
GUTTER MEDIA: The tone of certain sections in the media has been deplorable. Why only report on worst case scenario in a tone worthy of Armageddon? The decent journalists are balanced and proportionate. I particularly enjoy reading interviews of those who have overcome the virus. This helps us realise odds are in favour of most of us. We also need to hear that pandemics come and go and the majority survive them.
FEAR MONGERS: rumour makers and fear spreaders are everywhere at present. Do yourself a favour and limit reading about pandemic to ten minutes a day. Overloading with fearful news is bad for mental health and distorts balance. Most are well equipped to fight this virus off. Study the numbers of survivors as well as the departed- it is encouraging.
THE GREEDY: Those seeking to financially profit from crisis are wicked. I was horrified to read, for example, of private hospitals wanting millions a day to free up beds! Anyone putting up prices of necessary goods is worthy of shame. Anyone holding governments to ransom to procure equipment is rotten. Now is a time for generosity, charity and fraternal love.
And what of you? Are you going to keep your head as all around are losing theirs? Will you be a self hoarder who lives in fear or a benevolent carer who reaches out to others? We all have choices to make. The most important is to live with hope not fear and in love not selfishness. We need courage not cowardice. Spread that wisdom far and wide. We Christians should be at the forefront.