Between the publication of PLN #41 and PLN#40 just three months earlier, the corona virus has become a world-wide pandemic. Presently, one of the main counter measures imposed by national governments to contain the infection is ‘social distancing’.
I don’t know how this has affected the village, town or city that you live in, but Southampton is already like a ghost-city. I have never known it to be so quiet. Perhaps the eeriness is exaggerated here in Southampton because just as this emergency began our airport shut down. The skies above us here used to be constantly buzzing with the sound of airplanes but now, the only thing in the skies above is clouds.
This viral contagion will eventually run its course and life will return to normal sooner or later. But in the meantime, our community spirit will be tested. For some people, isolation will be a new experience. For others, the loneliness they already feel will simply become more acute. For some people, sickness is what happens to them maybe once or twice a year. For others, physical pain or discomfort is a constant. For those presently in good health, catching the virus will involve coughing and sneezing for a few days and two weeks of ‘self-isolation’. For the elderly and infirmed, and those with underlying conditions – catching it could be a death sentence. Some will suffer physical pain and discomfort, but some others will suffer all of that plus excruciating and deepening loneliness and despair.
A vaccine to combat the corona virus is, they say, about a year away. But fortunately, we have a sure-fire guaranteed cure for loneliness and isolation ready right now – and it is called compassion and caring for others. Difficult times lie ahead. Look after yourself and your loved ones, but please don’t be greedy or selfish. We are all in this together.