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Thought for the day 13th May 2020

Today we’re moving further through the Covid-19 crisis, as many people are encouraged to return to work. I wonder how it feels going back onto public transport, if you have no other way of getting to the workplace? I wonder what the practicalities are of keeping social distance – keeping safe - at work? There’s little doubt that workplaces are potential hothouses of infection, and I can imagine – from the safety of my own home – how anxious people must be feeling. And rightly so. Think of those who never stopped going to work: the nurses, doctors, care workers, bus, taxi and delivery drivers, supermarket staff: it’s a long list. And then consider how many in these groups have been infected by the coronavirus, and how many have died. Preventable deaths, many of these: medical staff who haven’t had adequate protective equipment, for example, because of past failures to prepare for the future, or present failures of supply and distribution. Or – in some ways worse – the railway company worker apparently infected by a station user who spat deliberately at her. That’s not just human failure, it’s human evil.

The crisis is certainly teaching us things. At one level how very good, generous, saintly even, we are when it comes to supporting one another: we’ve all seen examples of that. At another, how much our systems and the people responsible for them fail; how easily we can slip into selfish malevolence.

Fr John

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