As we settle in to the new normal, Good Grief! is here to support.
Good Grief! will ponder these strange Covid-19 times with you, talking about those topics which are relevant to our mission.
You will find the facts we present reassuring. The discussion will look unblinkingly at mortality and paradoxically because of this, it will be life affirming.
We live in strange times. Not the strangest – but certainly the strangest most of us have ever lived through.
Yes, our modern world means Covid-19 has moved very fast and spread rapidly. But we have much to celebrate about what modernity brings to the fight against the disease. Scientists are galvanised to find a solution. Vaccines and treatments will come quickly, most likely within one year. Herd immunity will develop. Rather than taking two centuries to finally be free of it, as with the Black Plague, it will be controlled if not eradicated much faster.
The photo is of a ‘plague column’ in The Czech Republic. They were erected in villages all over Europe in 17C, showing travellers the village was now plague free – and also to thank God for this new freedom.
Plague like diseases have surged and struck viciously since the beginning of time. The last major one was in 1919, the Spanish Flu, and there are people still living who remember schools being shut down and many lives being shattered during the polio epidemic of the 1930s.
After Covid-19, society will be forever transformed. Our internet connectivity will improve in a way that, for the first time, will take genuine pressure off our transport systems. This will catapult us forward from the old ways. The worldwide trend towards ‘globilisation’ will be challenged to be more human-centred, so ‘localism’ will find a better place in the mix.
Yes, living in closer proximity and with bigger populations than ever before brings disease. But disease of any nature is part of our lives. The first viruses are thought to have emerged 1.5 billion years ago, well before we ever did. So our challenge as humans is to live in the shadow of Covid-19, a basic virion with a spike like (therefore ‘corona’) protein – and to emerge as better people, more grandly human, heroic and lovely. We can do this.
Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in the Washington Post on March 13 this year that: “Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion.” Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks is an astonishingly beautiful book about a village confronting the Black Plague. It can be purchased at: https://www.booktopia.com.au/year-of-wonders-geraldine-brooks/book/9780142001431.html
Although much smaller than the Covid-19 outbreak, in many ways Australia’s polio epidemic of the 1930s was much harder to bear, since children were struck and many people were left permanently incapacitated. To find out more about the polio outbreak go to:https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/remembering-australia-s-polio-scourge