Happy Christmas 2020


One Friday morning in March I walked down the road and into Church Stretton. In so doing I crossed the A49, one of the busiest roads in the county. I stopped in the middle of the road and looked north and south. There was no traffic: not a single vehicle to be seen. Overhead the sky too was quiet. There were no planes, no vapour trails; the sky was clear and blue with just a few wispy clouds. The world was remarkably peaceful. Over the next few weeks we saw pollution levels fall dramatically in the UK and world-wide: from Los Angeles to Wuhan, from Venice to New Delhi. Global levels of CO2 fell significantly, and at one point the oil companies were paying people to take oil off their hands. If climate change is the greatest danger facing the future of our planet then maybe the Covid-19 pandemic had come at the right time.

And yet… many people lost their jobs and many more were worried about how they would pay their bills. The closure of schools jeopardised children’s education and put strains on domestic arrangements and relationships.

If ever there was a good example of how we all live complex and interrelated lives this was it. The sentiment was so well put by John Donne in his meditation “No man is an island”. Even within our own lives there has been good and bad, but taken across society as a whole some have suffered greatly from the pandemic and some have suffered much less, and a few have even benefitted.

And us?  We are fine...  

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