Express & Star comment: Covid has changed our perspective

At first, there were rumblings from China. We watched dumbfounded at news reports of Wuhan being locked down. Chinese engineers built a hospital in just over a week and we imagined that it could not happen here.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

We were wrong. Slowly, the virus spread. Italy was the first European nation to be tormented by what was happening. Cities that some people may once have travelled to on holidays were closed, there were horrific scenes as hospitals became full.

Even then, we imagined it would not happen here. But it did. The logic of scientists failed to cut through. The predictions failed to dampen our enthusiasm for football matches and horse racing and live concerts. Little did we know it, but the virus was already among us.

Similar scenes have played out across the world. The death toll now stands at one million people, the majority of whom have gone long before their time. Covid has not respected land borders nor boundaries, politics nor religion. It has been the silent killer, mostly targeting the elderly and vulnerable but attacking people of all ages.

The world’s so-called rich nations might have imagined they would have some sort of immunity. All of those scientists and hospitals, all of that clinical equipment. Yet such wealthy nations as GB have been at the forefront of the disaster.

Covid-19 has changed our perspective. We have realised that the real essential workers are not accountants or lawyers, businessmen or entertainers; they are the NHS workers and carers, the bin men and shop staff, the transport workers and others who keep the wheels turning.

We have also learned the importance of humility and kindness. Many have engaged in acts to assist those who are vulnerable, they have put the needs of others before themselves.

It has not been all good, of course. Panic buying, fighting for toilet rolls and profiteering has shown the dark side of human behaviour, as has the lack of international co-operation.

Yet Covid-19 has also helped us to reflect on the importance of family and friends, of job security and happiness, of peace and stability. As the world passes the grim milestone, it must redouble its efforts, work more harmoniously and find a cure. Lives have been lost, lives have been ruined through unemployment, business collapse and a lack of medical care for cancers and other ailments. We must find a solution.

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