The biggest thing I have learned from the pandemic so far is how different people are. I always recognised this but it’s become more and more obvious as layers of life have been peeled away.
Clearly, people have been affected very differently by the pandemc in terms of suffering and that has to be fully recognised. Also, some have gained in economic terms, at least, whilst others have been hit very badly.
But, what I am really talking about is the way in which the pandemic has revealed very real differences in how we deal with adversity and uncertainty.
What is important for one person, such as physical appearance, make be entirely irrelevant to another. Big divides have emerged in relation to those who put self-interest and freedom above collective interest and concern for global wellbeing.
Coping mechanisms vary hugely. Some are keeping busy busy to try and stay afloat while others are treading water and just going with the flow.
Some find that their identity is almost under attack whereas others are more confident about who they are.
Some have to read every single piece that is written and spoken about every aspect of the virus while others have switched off.
Some are full of hope while others are much more cautious.
Some are enjoying the lockdowns while others are living in dread of every moment.
Some are suffering desperately because of the extent to which the virus has pretty much taken over the health services; others are oblivious.
Some are living in the moment while others have wandered to the past or into the future.
In other words, we have to get to grips with the fact that people, including people we thought we knew well, may be perceiving and experiencing the pandemic very differently to us and we somehow have to find a way to cope with that or else the divisions could get dangerously deep.
Who knows how much this pandemic will change lives and perspectives forever or will society return to where it was as if by reset button and trundle on.
It seems important to me that we learn from this time, if only to leave a legacy for those coming after us who may well have to go through something similar.