As we think about the enormity of what is happening to the world at the moment, it is easy to forget that the Easter Bank holiday is rapidly approaching for us here in the UK. This holiday usually results in a mass exodus as many of us have been planning, then preparing to pack and travel on short breaks maybe overseas or to the coast, the hills or meeting friends and family. For others it will be a time for prayer and reflection, whilst for the younger generation it is generally Easter egg hunts, egg painting and a massive overdose of sugar!
However, when I think about this, I am reminded of the Dinah Washington song ‘what a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours’ as we see changes to our lives everyday. Most of us transfixed by the daily government briefing, watching closely the number of new infections and sadly deaths which determine where we are on the curve, how we are managing to hopefully flatten it by our collective staying at home. We hear stories of new hero’s and acts of total selflessness giving hope.
As more than 1.5 billion people worldwide are having to stay home as the spread of coronavirus continues, boy we can see, ‘what a difference a year makes’ in fact.
Extraordinarily leaders are having to manage the crisis from a health, financial and social perspective but maintain morale and manage expectations. Extraordinarily, we saw the New Zealand Prime Minister in a news conference doing exactly that. She was making it clear that essential workers do in fact include the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy but did warn that they might be too busy caring for their own families and due to social distancing struggle to reach everyone as usual! So, from young to old we are all having to deal with the uncertainty and the change this pandemic is causing.
This reminded me however that we are our own worst enemies in that we are often too hard on ourselves and not accepting of our feelings and reactions. COVID 19 has meant a massive period of change and so we need to cut ourselves some slack and let ourselves process this by understanding that it is ok to feel the way we do at the moment. Our human response to change is complex but can result in different emotions – the shock, denial, frustration, the hitting rock bottom, the making a change by experimenting and testing new things or ways of living and eventually integrating them into our lives so we can keep going.
Whilst in these unusual times we need to remember that what we are doing by staying home is saving lives. We are having to face this adversity but building our resilience and this will mean different things for different people. We are all getting stronger. As we create a new way of doing things this year I am hoping that I am learning again to celebrate the simple things in life that I value in the world but often in the hurly burly of life forget about and take for granted. I am trying to use this time to slow down, take a breath and enjoy what I have…and those of us that are parents this might mean not having a child that has overdosed on chocolate on Easter Sunday!
So Happy Easter to all of you that are celebrating and I for one send special thanks to all of the NHS and other essential workers (and of course that includes the Easter bunny!) who are continuing to keep our countries running and saving lives…