What has Covid done for me? Positives and Opportunities

6 March 2021 Lent Breakfast.

When someone spoke in hushed tones of the BIG C, they were invariably speaking about Cancer but the BIG C that has held the headlines in recent times is Coronavirus.

A virus that has swept the planet, impacted on every community and has changed the way we think and live.

There is much that we can say about the pain, anxiety and trauma that this has caused us and that should be respected and understood, but perhaps there are other things we might learn from it.

Perhaps take a couple of minutes to reflect on what that might mean for us.

Try and set aside the negative images that crowd into our mind when coronavirus is mentioned.

Allow a light to shine on those aspects of this past year which have been helpful, affirming and even inspiring.  

Let’s open ourselves to the possibility of having been changed in some way for the better.

Thinking about the Big C – Coronavirus,

Let’s break it down into the perfect number 7.

  • Courageous
  • Creative
  • Compassionate
  • Curious
  • Conversations
  • Charismatic
  • Community

To begin with:

  • Courageous
    • Front line workers – only doing their job?
    • Hospital staff
    • Community care staff
    • Funeral directors, crematorium and cemetery staff
    • Teachers
    • Others
  • Creative
    • Ukulele
    • Painting
    • Baking
    • Trying something new
    • Returning to something we always meant to do
    • Services and events
  • Compassionate
    • Kindness
    • People being willing to step out of their comfort zone – telephone buddies.
    • Funky Monkey – wanting to make a difference.
    • People greeting each other as they walk past.
    • Chaplaincy and other staff holding phones and screens so that loved ones can speak especially towards the end of life.
  • Curious
    • To stop and view the world around us.
    • Taking time to look and really see, to listen and to really hear.
    • To encounter.
    • To investigate things, we’d noticed in passing, but now have the opportunity to delve deeper.
  • Conversations
    • We have caught up with people that used to only be on our Christmas card list.
    • We have spent the time saying important things to people; people who were sick, people who were estranged, people who were at the back of our minds.
    • We have written cards and letters and have been blessed to receive them.
    • We have phoned, texted, face timed, Skyped and Zoomed even though this time last year hardly any of us would have heard of it.
    • We have shared precious times, held regular ukulelethons (in my case) and family conferences
    • We have discussed baptisms, weddings and funerals with people.
    • We have run courses and meetings.
    • We have said goodbye.
  • Charismatic
    • Captain Tom Moore inspired us to do things we believed we couldn’t.
      • His 100 laps walk using his Zimmer frame will be etched on our minds along with his phrases:
      • The Sun shall shine on you again
      • Tomorrow will be a good day
    • Marcus Rashford inspired people to get behind the eradication of Child Poverty. During the Coronavirus epidemic).
      • In March 2020, he teamed up with the poverty and food waste charity, FareShare to deliver meals to those in the Greater Manchester area who were no longer receiving free school meals as well as children who attended community centres and breakfast clubs.
      • This went nationwide by 11 June 2020 to 3 million children and he wrote to the Government 2 days later calling them to end UK child poverty. A day later, the Government announced a change in policy regarding an extension to free school meals during the school holidays.
      • He began using his Twitter account to promote cafés, individual people and local business offering assistance to FareShare to help the impoverished around the country.
      •  On 8 November, it was announced that, because of Rashford’s campaign, the government would be providing funding of almost £400m over the next 12 months to support the cost of food and household bills to poor families.
      •  At the end of the month, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and venture capitalist Michael Moritiz pledged to double any donations through a Christmas fundraising appeal set up by Rashford in conjunction with the Times newspaper. The campaign had raised over £2.7 million by the beginning of January.
      • St George’s School meal vouchers for the Funky Monkey.
  • Community
    • We have been community in ways not seen for many years.
    • We have celebrated and grieved together.
    • We have looked out for each other.
    • We have got to know each other despite the restrictions.
    • We have trusted each other.
      • Community can only be built at the speed of trust Cormac Russell

We rejoice in the many positives and opportunities that we have discovered through coronavirus but we know that this isn’t always immediately possible for everyone to be in that position so please do speak to someone should you need to talk things through.

Elaine Chegwin Hall

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