Our lives have a new rhythm. The nature of the rhythm depends a lot on where we live. For some, lockdown is the current norm. In other places there are restrictions on the way we gather, and some state borders are closed. What a change all of this represents!
Over the past 18 weeks we have been monitoring week-by-week the impact of COVID-19 in our partner settings. Some are doing really well (Vanuatu, Fiji and Vietnam). Others are managing to limit the spread of the virus, while in several settings the situation is worsening and their vulnerability is growing.
Already one overwhelming reality is clear. This unseen virus affects us all. Everyone is vulnerable. If ever there was a way of saying that beyond language, racial identity, culture and skin colour we are all human, this is it. All of us are in this together as God’s rich and multi-faceted family.
However, there are also big differences. The wealthier the country, the greater the resources on hand to manage the situation. The poorer the country, the greater the likelihood is of people living in large slums and high-rise housing situations where basic social distancing is impossible. Additionally, in those settings, we observe inadequate health services and governments with a limited capacity to respond.
So, what can we hope for? In one sense we hope for the same thing – End COVID For All. A vaccine, health resources and adequate care, so all can be safe.
It will be interesting to see who gets the hoped-for vaccine first. The gospel value is clear in this regard – the first shall be last and the last first! How would that be? End COVID For All means that the most vulnerable are cared for first, while others follow the guidelines and wait.
In the meantime, all of us in the relative security of Australia have an opportunity to express our care for those most at risk through generosity and shared compassion. This year, Safe Water September’s focus on the provision of clean water is one way of saying we are working to End COVID For All.