Thoughts on these strange times
Updated: Sep 29, 2021
Now that pretty much every home in the country has been turned into either a quarantine, a makeshift school or a home office, we are all getting used to some new realities.
For some, it’s an especially daunting time. I’ve always been blessed with close family to share my days with so perhaps I can’t truly appreciate what isolation feels like. However, for those who have precious little family, are older, in care homes or homeless, I can imagine the feeling of loneliness is even more pointed.
The rest of us get to take comfort in the resilient smiles of our children, our household chores and conversations with our spouses or by indulging in one of our many digital privileges (Netflix shares are a safe bet right now). And though these are troubling times, I do believe that many good things will come from this.
Seaweed can be seen in clear waters in Venice as a result of the stoppage of motorboat traffic. Photograph: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images
For one, all over the world, Mother Nature has been breathing a sigh of relief. We’ve gained a glimpse of an alternative world where the wheels of industry stop turning, for just a moment. The air is fresh and the quiet brings a welcome respite for those usually noisy minds who choose to wander outside (once a day of course). The spring sunshine a cinematic metaphor reminding us that the show will always go on, with or without us.
Education is being brought back into its long-lost home; our homes. Some parents are discovering the simple joys in teaching, whilst others send their appreciation (through their tears) to teachers too long taken for granted (we’re truly sorry…for everything you need us to be truly sorry for).
We’re discovering new ways to work, and that commuting for miles every day to show our physical forms as we clock in and out isn’t as essential as we’ve been led to believe. The tech world has stepped up and shown us what it’s capable of when global disaster strikes. Video meetings, online collaboration and internet services are allowing many of us to remain productive in a way that would be unthinkable until only a few years ago. This could be the game-changing event the working from home revolution needed to go mainstream if we embrace it.
And then there is the politics. A liberal, free-market government being forced to embrace the most extreme elements of socialist economics to get us through. An easy-going, impish prime minister dealing with the biggest national crisis of modern times. Talk of a crisis coalition government to see us through (or to share the blame) gathering apace and, all the while, the Brexit debate nowhere to be seen. Experts, once again, back in vogue. Strange times indeed.
Throughout these testing times I will try to remain thankful; for everything we still have, for what we once had but took for granted, for the people we love but may yet lose to this illness, and for the people who are fighting, with every last drop of energy they have, to save us from it.
I will also try to remain hopeful that we’ll emerge stronger and closer together. That our fragility and commonality will help us all appreciate the power in humility and the value of putting people first, and of always trying to do the right thing.
Now, more than ever, I’ll try to honour the Rebel Values and the team who push me to live them every day.
Sending all our best wishes to you, your teams and your families.
Keep safe. Stay positive.