When The Clapping Stops?

When I started this ‘open house‘ project for my website, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I just knew that it wasn’t the right time to continue the strong words of cancer. I put out an invitation and have had a very positive response. With many stories to share in the next few weeks. But this one is very special to me. It is from my great friend Zac, who I have known for at least 30 years! Our children were at school together and we have followed each others careers closely.

We live near each other and now we are semi-retired, are able to catch-up most weeks. A couple of years ago I was honoured when Zac accepted my offer of becoming our SimPal Ambassador. Meaning we can share our skills helping the most vulnerable people in society. Unknown to me I stimulated him to write this piece!

Like most of the nation, I position myself outside my house every Thursday at 20:00. To clap and show my support and gratitude for the NHS and other front-line workers. It has become a community event, and probably the only time I get to see my neighbours. For a few minutes we are brought together in an act of kindness. When it’s over we go back to our lock down existence. My wife and I have established a routine, which probably is not too different from many others. We are part of the power washing, DIY doing, home baking, gardening, keep fit, gin drinking, Zoom/Skype/Face Time calling, Tesco home delivery seeking fraternity, which fills our lives whilst we are on pause.

I can personally cope with most of what we are going through. But the lack of up-close interaction with my loved ones is the most difficult. If we are honest, life will not go back to pre Covid “normality” for some time. The scientists, doctors and pharmaceutical companies hold our future in their hands. A vaccine, reliable immunity testing, and treatment are the components that will allow us to live a relatively unrestricted lifestyle and give the economy a chance to recover. 

In the meantime, we will be faced with compromises, financial hardship, job uncertainty and a degree of fear. We have been given an opportunity to take our foot off the gas, re-evaluate what is important, and appreciate what we have. But what happens when the clapping stops and we find our new normal? 

I personally hope for the following:

  • We remember those that have been taken by this horrible virus and their families and friends. Once a year we should pause, reflect and pay our respects. This can be a day of quiet reflection, giving thanks to those who worked so hard to support us and indeed save lives.
  • The NHS is protected, cherished and taken off the political agenda. It has, and continues to be amazing DESPITE the organisational structure. This needs a complete re-evaluation, restructuring, correct funding in order to make it fit for purpose and future proof. I heard a comment that came out of Germany, which was “We don’t clap our health service, we fund it! We owe it to our nation and the next generation to get this right, once and for all, and shouldn’t forget that Covid is not the only illness in town.
  • We learn from our excesses and materialistic ways, and ensure that we put something back to help those less fortunate than ourselves. 
  • The friendliness and connection with our community continues. I have loved my daily walk with my wife, and been cheered by so many “good morning “greetings, delivered with a genuine smile.
  • We continue to care for the elderly or those living in isolation. For some, this lock down is no different to the life that they have been living. I see no reason why we should stop asking if someone needs any assistance 

There is no doubt that life will go back to ‘normal,’ and as human beings we will all revert to our old ways. But let’s use this opportunity to re-calibrate and make a difference. 2020 should be remembered for those that we have sadly lost and for when our nation came together!” Zac Toumazi May 2020

Firstly I would like to thank Zac for sharing his very thought provoking piece with my Community. You can also follow him on Twitter. Looking through this piece I can’t find anything that I would disagree with. My feeling is that this crisis will provide the world with an incredible opportunity and we must be brave enough to make the changes we need to ensure our values are realigned.

If you feel inspired after reading this, to share some of your own thoughts, please feel free to drop me a message below!

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