The key challenge presented by COVID-19 is to build on the connections and care that have developed during the pandemic and to avoid isolation in our communities.
No matter what country, nation, ethnicity or species, COVID-19 has amplified human connections. When it was announced that the authorities suspected that the first case of COVID-19 occurred in a live-stock market in the city of Wuhan we realised that we were connected to others in China. During lockdowns how many of us spent time ringing, zooming and getting in touch with those we had not contacted for ages?
We have connections through nature and to all other species on the planet.
During COVID-19 a large number of volunteers of all ages came forward to connect and care. We feel strong connections with our families and friends but during lockdown we found that we had missed people on the edge of our lives e.g. the cafe owner, the neighbour to whom we can connect.
The UK is a divided nation in relation to wealth and wellbeing. There is a 10 year difference in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. Our cities have areas of affluence and deprivation but we need to make connections to enable the exchange of services that are mutually beneficial to all.
Inequalities in the spotlight during COVID-19 have been evident in families who live on the edge of poverty and all the challenges this brings including poor education, housing, mental and physical health. Any solution needs to prioritise and make it easier for the most disadvantaged to reach their potential and add value to our society.
The consequence of ignoring the opportunity to connect is to embrace isolation. If we take this path we will face failures in family and community, future pandemics and other natural disasters.