A few weeks ago, before the UK lock-down, I was having a discussion with Sammy (my lovely partner) about the ethics of the world food chain and how I wished we could return to a more community-based way of life, but how impossible it would be because our nation, along with other major countries was so dependent on consumerism and market values.
Fast forward a few weeks, and our world has changed completely, consumption has plummeted along with our economies. There is now a real feeling of community within our country, with people getting to know their neighbours from behind closed doors, offering to collect prescriptions and shopping for the elderly and vulnerable and a genuine rally of support towards our small shops and businesses. Independent retailers and restaurateurs who champion local and ethically sourced products are finding new ways to serve their customers by staying open (if they can under government guidelines) or diversifying by offering home delivery services. Our NHS staff, shop workers, delivery drivers, dustmen, transport workers and many more key workers have become our greatest heroes.
This week Sammy started a new job for a lovely company, Riverford Organic Farmers, that supports ethical farming as well as providing a home delivery service, he continues to be classed as a key worker, so is lucky enough to go out to work. I say lucky, but of course being part of the supply chain as with all key workers who continue to do their jobs, because ‘that’s what they do’ now comes with a high risk that many of us are now shielded from by simply being asked to ‘stay at home’.
There are positives to every situation and a renewed sense of values and community spirit is an optimistic movement evolving from these current uncertain times. Cottage industries are thriving and developing and it’s wonderful to see people, who are passionate about their craft leading the way in our time of reflection.
In the last few decades, we had become the generations who want it all, expecting high achievements from ourselves and others – immersing ourselves in our busy lives whilst we hastily went about our daily routines to attain more for ourselves and our families.
Let’s hope that when we recover from this, we retain our sense of community, the immense, well-deserved respect and admiration for our front-line staff, and most importantly our re-connection with the things that truly matter to us. We can and we will get through this and come out on the other side with renewed values, kinder, selfless and better human beings.