I am full of admiration for the fortitude of individuals who have been on their own this summer, confined to their homes and gardens.  Solitude can be a blessing if it is a choice, but enforced isolation is not congenial and causes problems and hardship.  I felt immensely sorry for people in Spain who were not even allowed to go outside during the hot months.  Thousands in this country have had to work from home or have been furloughed or lost their jobs. Coping with this pandemic calls for resilience and compassion.

I have been encouraged by the kindness I see all around me shown by those I know and those I don’t know. We have all made more of an effort to contact those we believe might be lonely and in need of cheering up. Communities and nations have come together to face the threat of the coronavirus, and the suffering and death it has caused. Clapping the NHS has been an example of this.

I hope that when the pandemic has finally run its course that this unity of purpose and energy can be channelled towards resolving the other vital issues which affects the future of our planet: climate change and military conflicts.  Life does not get better by chance – it gets better by change.  Humans need to be less selfish and less greedy and try to live in peace. There has to be a universal commitment to reduce global warming and to end fighting. It won’t happen unless we all want to make it happen.

We can’t control natural disasters – and we just have to deal with them as best we can when they happen. But so many people have died and have suffered from disease, poverty, hunger, and war, and these are all issues that can be addressed. As C.S. Lewis said: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Let’s act now.