Age of Insecurity #127

Posted on 25th March 2021 | in Community , Harry McQuillen: Age of insecurity

We’ve never seen the world like this. So many stories of bereavement and hardship, in all sorts of ways. With high levels of hospitalisation, death and physical and mental impairment, life is so difficult for patients, carers and those whose incomes have been slashed.

If ever there was a need for us all to sing from the same hymn sheet, that time is now! Pointing a finger at individuals and groups is a bit of a waste of time. We human beings are just that – human, and fallible, and insecure. If we were automata we might be able to coordinate everything that we do. Work-life balance is a bit of a joke when you’re poor, sometimes hungry and worried about the rent. When you have secure housing and secure income, you should count your lucky stars. It’s hard to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes when there are folk who haven’t a decent pair of shoes.

So what can we do? I think that our government has handled things well, or as well as it can, with furlough, health service provision and, recently, clear communication of many of the issues. Most people are sensible and resilient, and so many do what they can to help our most vulnerable citizens.

As I’ve said before, consideration for others is the glue that binds society. A former Prime Minister appeared to deny that society exists. Most of us would refute that attitude today. Education always causes political arguments. With any luck, the reopening, in turn, of schools, specialist colleges and universities will bring relief to young people who are supposed to study online. Getting together with people of the same age and interests has always been the essence of education. Lack of part-time work and the income it generates, has made life very difficult for young people and for the businesses which employ them. Our young folk are our future. Let’s encourage them and help them all we can.

There is real hope in the government roadmap. The return of schools, opening of shops, beer gardens and outdoor sports venues, with pubs, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, more sports venues and possibly international travel from May 17, and everything else from June 21. That’s quite a list, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. The virus, I fear, has limited regard for human argument, but I don’t see a better way to come out of the nightmare we’ve come through.

The sun is shining, spring is in the air. Our home area looks as lovely as ever. Stand on the quayside and look out to sea, or up the Coquet towards Warkworth and you’ll see what I mean. Happy summer holiday this year.

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