When we celebrated Easter last year we would have never guessed that a year later we’d still be facing lockdowns and restrictions with the pandemic being far from over. But here we are, it’s April 2021 and our life in the last few months has still meant mostly working from home, taking photos of food (as this seems to be the main excitement in otherwise very samey days), talking to people on a screen, daily runs, doing puzzles or playing games with the flatmates and otherwise not much variety. However, since 29 March we’ve been allowed to meet other households again, only outdoors so far, but as we hadn’t been allowed to spend time with our family members since October, we really appreciated the opportunities to catch up with them. And almost as exciting… the hairdressers are open again! ;-) Both Rebsi and Mara hadn’t had a haircut since October either and it certainly showed…
But whilst we can definitely see improvements here in the UK (thanks to the vaccination programme and also these rather strict lockdown measures over the last months) this is not the case globally. As of today (25 April) there are 146,547,466 global cases and 3,101,512 deaths. We read reports from India which sees daily cases of 350,000 people and people are dying on the streets due to lack of oxygen, ventilators and even hospital beds. We hear similar stories of desperation from Brazil where Covid-19 variants cause devastation and death. Even other parts of Europe still look much more worrying, including Mara’s and Rebsi’s home country Germany.
So whilst we undoubtedly enjoy the increased freedom and the ability to meet our loved ones again, we are also conscious of the situation in other countries… We are far away from normal and in order to get there it is not enough if only some countries achieve improvements or even the big goal of herd immunity. John Donne said in his famous poem: “No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” We are all pieces in a bigger picture and live in this interconnected world where safety in one place depend on the safety in all places. A bit later in the poem he writes this beautifully sad line: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
The real celebration will come once Raf’s family in South Africa and our friends or even strangers in places like India, Brazil or many other parts of the world are safe from Covid-19. No man, no country is an island… not even the UK.