Reflections on the lockdown

Reflections on the lock-down

English is a funny language.  The opposite of down is up, so therefore the opposite of a lock-down, the time when we start to loosen the restrictions, should logically be called the lock-up.

Time too is a slippery concept.  It feels like both 10 months and 10 minutes since the lock-down started, not 10 weeks.

So what have we learnt in the last 10 weeks that we either want to keep or forget?

We’ve learnt that communities are alive and kicking and that, when push comes to shove, people are willing to go out of their way for others they barely know, collecting shopping or prescriptions, making phone calls and having concerned conversations in the street (at a social distance of course).

We’ve learnt that given the chance we all love a street party, especially when it celebrates the end of a war few of us can remember.

We’ve learnt that we appreciate the NHS and are willing to clap for them on a weekly basis, but not, it seems, appreciate those of the NHS that come from abroad enough to cancel making them pay for the care they need themselves.

We’ve learnt that no government is perfect but that some are less perfect than others and that ours, like our football team, is not as good as we’d like them to be.

We’ve learnt that Donald Trump really does say whatever comes first into his head no matter how stupid an idea it may be, but that, even knowing that, there’s a high possibility the American people will re-elect him in November.

We’ve learnt that when you make church services available online to watch at leisure, twice as many view them as on a normal Sunday outside lock-down.

We’ve also learnt that many members of the congregations have interesting things to say, as the daily reflections have shown.

Some of the things we’ve learnt in the last 10 weeks have been shocking, some pleasing and unexpected.

As we start to loosen the restrictions I pray that we remember both the good and the bad, encourage the good things we’ve learnt and fight ever more strenuously against the bad.  I pray also that we remember that for the elderly, the frail, those with underlying conditions and shielding this time of loosening is not the opposite of the lock-down, but a continuation of the lock-up and may continue to be so for the next 10 months in reality.