Contrasts - Reflection by Canon Maggie


Read Canon Maggie's reflection for Tuesday, 4 May, 2021.

This has been a week of sharp contrasts. Here in Liverpool we have been hosting large test events which will help to lead us back to a more normal way of living.  Those attending have not been required to be distanced or to wear masks – it has been a brief return to ‘before Covid’ socialising, particularly for some younger adults whose social lives have been very hard hit.

But it isn’t just about them, the events have provided windows of hope and opportunity for technicians and performers to use their skills and to feel the satisfaction of a job well done. There have been very few of those occasions in the last 12 months.

Running alongside has been the very welcome news that we might be able to hug close family and close friends before the month is out as part of the route to almost normal life, hopefully later in June.

In contrast, the devastation from Covid in India has been, rightly, headline news. While the number of cases and deaths in India has been shocking and the scenes from the hospitals absolutely heartbreaking, it has also shown how limited our view of the world is. Although we live amongst people from across the globe, most of our population is unaware of the size and scale of India, poised as it is to be come the most populous nation on Earth. They too are unaware that it is a major manufacturer and exporter of vaccines, particularly the Covid vaccine, and has therefore been playing a crucial part in our ability to meet the current road map out of restrictions. We are fortunate to have a strong Indian Community in the UK and to be able to hear through the media from individuals and organisations both locally and in India about what is needed and what is being provided.

However, sadly, in both contexts I have also heard comments which have suggested a lack of understanding and respect for the culture and experience of others. People have been questioning why test events should focus on young people who have not yet been vaccinated, though of course the risk cannot be properly assessed without the test events.  Sadly some of the comments in relation to the situation in India hint at underlying paternalism and fail to appreciate the cultural differences between the UK and India.

Most of us will know people who have family who are in the eye of the storm in India at present, many of them have been working in our hospitals or other essential services ensuring that, should we have fallen ill at any time during the pandemic, we would not have been wondering whether there would be oxygen or a hospital bed available for us.

While we continue to move along the path out of the pandemic, it is beholden on us to remember that others are not so blessed and there are individuals within our community who remain anxious for their families. As globally connected Christians we join with those across the world, praying for the world and thanking God for his goodness to us.

Canon Maggie

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