The news regarding COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Here, Virginia shares a sense of her personal reaction and response. Thank you, Virginia!
“When COVID 19 was first being discussed I remember absorbing the reality of what a danger the illness might be to my health as I am both an asthma sufferer and overweight. I felt unable to breathe or move because of my fear of the disease. It is not something that I am proud of but thankfully after a little while I was able to think again and get stuck in to all that was needed both as a parish response to what had to happen next and also care for my own family.
Communities have pulled together. Deeply kind and compassionate responses made a genuine difference to everyone. People have supported those who are living alone or needing to shield a family member, sometimes meeting near neighbours for the first time while doing so. The government responded with furloughing schemes to support those unable to work. Even banks and other agencies have been kinder than normal, protecting those who are in difficulty and enabling them to put on hold things they were struggling to face including serious debt. In some ways, we have all been held by a giant safety net through this difficult time.
Perhaps as we enter the next chapter of the Pandemic it not so easy to predict how we will all respond to the unknown path that lies ahead. For those people shielding at home and their families, it will be very hard as they are asked to stay in, while others return to work and get out more. Financial realities will be stark for some families as furloughing comes to an end and they find out if they have a job to return to. As family members return to work and have a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus how will we deal with people who do not self-isolate or take care to wash their hands or keep a distance away. These concerns are so real and so worrying for those who face them. How will we support them? How will we support each other?
We need to remember that we are all part of a big big story. God is with us, despite our bewilderment, our questioning who and what we are, our doubt and our roller-coaster emotions. Moses listening to God in the burning bush reminds us and we must hold on to that. The coming months will see opportunities for us all to support and be supported by our community in unexpected ways. I hope that we can all travel together, noticing those who fall through the safety net, narrowing divides, taking the time to care and trusting that all will be well. Walking together out of the valley, around the corner and away from the shadows, thankful for God’s love, guidance and patience with us all – helping us to stay strong now and in the future.”
Exodus 3, 1-17