We’ll Meet Again

As the Wednesday Bulletin has now been suspended, below are some words that have kindly been provided by Linda Chylinski:

We’ll meet again. The Queen used this in a recent address to our nation. The words of Dame Vera Lynn have been so poignant at this time of social isolation during the corona virus pandemic. Lockdown effectively imprisoned us in our homes and some people didn’t even have any family to share this time with. Other families suffered tensions, as cracks in their relationships came to a head. One day we were actively going about our busy lives and suddenly everything just stopped.

Thankfully, many of us kept in touch via Face Time or Skype, and suddenly social media became an important part of our lives. Some of us (including the Queen), learned to use zoom for the first time ever.

This lockdown has affected every age…..youngsters missed schooling and their friends ( socialising being an important part of the primary curriculum). Young people missed going out to the local pub, seeing their friends and even romantic relationships. Young mothers discovered how difficult home schooling was, and struggled to juggle work and home life. The older generation were desperate to see their grandchildren. Some people have lost loved ones and have been denied a proper goodbye or funeral. In particular, the older generation are suffering from social isolation and tremendous loneliness. The impact on mental health cannot be underestimated. Samaritans alone have received an average of 7000 calls per day, which is a huge increase in people reaching out for help.

However, let’s not forget the positives. The skies have been bluer, the air cleaner and we have heard much more birdsong with less pollution about. Many have enjoyed peaceful daily exercise in the way of a gentle stroll or even a 5km run. Many people have been working throughout, putting themselves on the front line, but others have put themselves forward and volunteered to help others. Some took part in shopping and doorstep deliveries of food and prescriptions. Others volunteered to man the food banks that closed suddenly, essentially cutting off a lifeline for some. Others took it upon themselves to ask a neighbour if they wanted a newspaper collected, and many have received pastoral telephone calls to ensure the person at the other end of the phone could hear a friendly voice, or get the help they might require. In shops people have been considerate of others and we have seen people smiling and wishing people to stay safe. Well, those smiles may be hidden behind masks now, but my wish is that the eyes shine through.

It is our connection to others that keeps us well and balanced in life. Humans are essentially social creatures, so please let us not forget the lessons we have learned. Let us all reach out to others and empathise with one another. Let’s teach our children and our grandchildren kindness and consideration for others. Let us continue to knock on the door of a neighbour and ask if they need anything from the shops, because we are going there.

For myself, I will never forget the balconies in the north of Italy at the height of the pandemic. People were singing out to one another and playing musical instruments, lifting up each other’s spirits. Most importantly, let us all remember, whatever you are going through, you are not alone.

Hebrews :13. God has said” I will never leave you; I will never abandon you”. Let us be bold then and say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid”.