The Year That Was and ‘That Word’.

As we close out a year that everyone will be glad to see the back of, I hope the word unprecedented will be able to take a well-earned break from the world’s vocabulary.

 We’ve learned things about ourselves, our country and the world in general.

We’ve seen the worst in people and we’ve seen the humanity of communities coming together to provide support, hope and a ray of sunshine into the pandemic abyss.

Some people have lost faith. Some have found faith. Some have strengthened faith. My mantra has become ‘Faith over Fear’.

“We may be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.”

 I read this way back at the start of the pandemic lock-downs. How people negotiate the COVID storm, which is still raging out of control in many countries depends, on the sea worthiness or otherwise of your boat.

You see my boat was beat up in a sudden and horrific storm around this time three years ago. It nearly devastated me. This current storm is, as far as I’m concerned, not worth worrying about too much. But then if I lived in the northern hemisphere I might think differently. If my means of earning a living had been snatched away, I might have a different opinion. If I was caught up in an abusive relationship and in lock-down with the perpetrator, my perspective would not be the same.

Some people see their boat has sprung a few leaks, that can be plugged, but forget that others are in boats that have hit rocks and are starting to sink.

I am blessed to live in a country that has largely escaped the ravages of this insidious disease and am left shaking my head at people here in Australia who were complaining about our lock-downs. Really?

First world lock-downs are a minor inconvenience more than anything else for the majority of us.

A children’s home in metro Manila that my daughter worked in a few years ago, has been in lock-down as I write this for 269 days and counting. That’s over 200 children and staff who have not been outside for over eight months. Many of the children are immuno-compromised so they have had to take extra precautions. Staff have stayed on to help care for them, leaving their own families behind to do so. Only one staff member has been allowed out to buy food daily. To add to everything, the Philippines has been hit by 5 typhoons already this season….They consider themselves fortunate.

No matter the situation, there is always something to be grateful for.

Pandemics are not new.  This too shall pass.

2020 is not the default.

We need to remember to look to the future with hope.

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