What have we learned during this crisis? Writing in the newspaper today, two social scientists say that the crisis ‘has reminded us that we can be a more sociable and caring society.’ There’s good evidence for this. People have become more aware of their neighbours, more ready to help, eager to make a contribution to the common good. We are becoming nicer than we were. And we’ve realised the huge importance of ‘key workers’, not least those in the NHS and the care system. Strange that in recent times governments have refused to raise the salaries of nurses by a decent amount, and failed to provide security for care workers on zero-hours contracts! Suddenly, these are the people we realise we should appreciate, the people we all, ultimately, depend on.
Other key workers too. This morning we had two men from a local building firm turn up to mend some gutters, which had been flapping around in the wind and spoiling our attempts to sleep at night. Shinning up ladders, balancing precariously on roofs, they sorted it all out in an hour or so, and left to go on to their next task. The local shop had as usual delivered our paper, and in these difficult times they bring milk too. The post-lady has just popped another book through the letterbox. These are people we don’t even notice, usually. We all depend on them.