Keep hope alive

These words are often uttered by one of my friends when there are difficult times and days ahead. This is no less true with the current Covid-19 crisis. People are certainly talking with each other, even during this time of 'Self-isolation,' as if we are not already self isolated in some respects with our daily use of technology.

At present there is much anxiety and fear. This is partly due to people wanting more information and lacking knowledge of the virus, even experts are unclear what is happening and, dare I mention the dreaded word? It is a life and death situation, increasingly so for some. What is not mentioned is that many folks are feeling vulnerable.

As I consider the achievements and accolades of the West including Brexit, a strong push of wanting to go it alone, while continuing global expansion, it strikes me that no matter how great we might think we are, we are deeply vulnerable. Covid-19 is the unexpected leveller.

Some folks were able to brag that the 2008 financial crash did not affect them other than making them wealthier, but thousands lost their homes, or at least felt the devastating sting of the global financial meltdown. None of us though, are immune, or can escape the potential clutches and power of Covid-19. We have seen it already; Celebrities, royalties, politicians and ordinary people alike. In addition, large businesses fear that if the crisis continues, they may no longer be in business, even with government support.

Covid-19 is no respecter of person, class, gender, education, physical ability, the black, white or Asian community, the haves and have nots, or any other category you might wish to include. We all are vulnerable. That is one of the great lessons of life we often forget, especially for us in the wealthy West.

What are we to do? Well, worrying, while a natural human response will not solve anything. We need to know what is happening and we need to be informed, but watching too much of the live human drama, the loss of life and so forth, can lead us down the road of despair, so balance is required.

Vulnerability often causes us to withdraw within ourselves, and from each other, but there is a flip side. There is strength in vulnerability as it can lead us to reach out to others in need because we recognise we are not as independent, or are in control of our lives as we confidently, and at times, arrogantly, think we are.

Pop-up communities are surfacing in helping those not as fortunate as others. Joining such a group may help us deal with our feelings of vulnerability. I begin each day with my first breath on awaking giving God thanks for the start of another day. For those reading this who do not do God, one can still begin the day with your first conscious breath in gratitude and thankfulness for what you have.

Focusing too much on distressing things can cause us difficulties, but being distracted can be helpful. Psychologists have something to say about this. Psychologist, Nir Eyal in, 'When Distraction is a Good Thing,' argues that, "Distractions can help us cope with the pains of everyday life." Another writer, before any modern psychologist, wrote the following:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4: 8.

It is not about a denial of the facts, but it is a way of ensuring we remain in hope and peace, while we live through this crisis. We will get through this with good science, common sense, living hope, faith, communal support and prayers.

Let us keep hope alive

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