I fully admit it – we are lucky: We live in a village in the countryside. We have a garden. But how has the virus affected our lives?
I have been out of the village once in over 4 weeks. Usually I am out travelling and meeting people every weekday. A huge and challenging change of lifestyle. Isolation: a word hinting at loneliness or perhaps aloneness. Do I feel isolated? NO WAY. I feel more elated than isolated. Why?
Much to my surprise I am in awe of the Coronavirus effect in our village. The lives of everyone are totally transformed in every way. There are shared shopping runs. Shared prescription runs to the local surgery. Sharing of goods. Socially distanced sharing of views when walking the dogs.
Suddenly, to an extent which blows my mind, we do everything with someone else in mind. We have built, in four weeks, an incredible sharing, caring community which goes beyond anything I could have imagined. Our day-to-day lives are focused on actions which trigger “I wonder what my community wants and needs?”
We respect and follow all guidelines. But we are connected as never before.
How would I be feeling if I lived on the 18th floor of a tower block in an inner city? I have no idea. I can guess but I cannot imagine. But if I was to guess, I think I would be at my wit’s end. I would feel stuck. Glued to my flat/apartment without any freedom to do anything. I guess I would be losing my whole sense of living a life – unless I had great neighbours, but how can I meet them safely?
Perhaps life in the countryside encourages mutual help and inner-city life in a high-rise building destroys it?
IF this is the case, then will the world of charity giving be affected? Will those (like me) who have discovered a new sense of mutual help increase their philanthropy? Will those truly isolated feel a greater sense of self help and encourage a feeling of “I come first”? Or will both recognise the needs of others? And will the “priority of needs” for different causes be re-assessed? Are city based residents more likely to support their local community (such as an NHS hospital)? But will those out in the country support broader international causes?
Certainly more people are making a Will, but will they leave a legacy to a charity? And if they do it now will they revise their Will later? YES almost certainly. But will the chosen charity change?
Or are we all just feeling financially insecure and will give less? Our village is split between those who are working too hard as key workers and suffering horrendous pressure, versus those who now have no income.
My guess is that lucky people will think more of others and less of themselves. Unlucky people will be more focused on themselves. But maybe I am wrong. This cruel virus affects us all but none of us can yet imagine the final effects. As with everything at the moment – the future is uncertain but it will not be the same as the past.