Covid 19 National Day of Reflection

23rd March 2021, 12 noon.  Mr Fisher

Hello Everyone

The time is now 12.00 and I would invite you all to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of Coronavirus as part of the National Day of Reflection.

Minute’s Silence

The minute’s silence we have just observed was primarily to remember the 126,000 or so people in the UK who have lost their lives to Coronavirus over the last year.  However, I hope many of you will also have included in your thoughts the many more hundreds of thousands who have died around the world, and also all the millions of grieving partners, relatives and friends who have suffered bereavement in this most difficult of years.

Today is the first anniversary of the start of the first national lockdown in the UK and in that year we have all had to grow used to curtailing our normal freedoms in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones and each other.  While many of those who have died have been elderly, a good many younger people have had their lives cut much shorter than they might have expected too, including doctors and nurses who have been part of the fight to save the lives of others. But Covid does not just kill, it can incapacitate people and change their lives dramatically, scarring lungs and affecting organs such as the brain, kidneys, liver and heart. For many, the journey of so-called Long Covid is only just beginning and we should think of them too.

It has been hard to witness so much death, pain and suffering, and it has been hard to experience such a loss of freedom, but we in the UK are still much better off than many preceding generations who have faced terrifying plagues without the knowledge and help of modern medicine.  At least we have drugs and vaccines that can help to save many lives and that seem to offer us a genuine route out of the current situation.

And perhaps we will learn from this experience about what and who really matters to each of us?  When we have our freedom back, will we simply return to the life we used to have?  Or will we try to make more time for the people and things that have sustained us through the last year?  Will we be kinder people?  Will we be healthier people?  Will we be less busy people?  These are all questions we should legitimately ask ourselves in the coming weeks and months.

I am now going to read a poem that Mr Wood suggested.  It reflects on some of the issues I have talked about as well as some different ones.  In particular, it asks us to look at the pandemic through a different lens, a more spiritual one.  Perhaps when we cannot change events, we can at least change the way we perceive them, and, in doing so, change the way we feel about them.

The poem is called Pandemic and it is by an American writer and Minister called Lynn Ungar. She first published it in November 2020. (Click here to link to the poem)

Thank you for your attention.