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A crisis shows us what’s important

Modern life. We’ve all got a few things wrong – well most of us at least. It takes a crisis like we’re in today to shine a light on these things. We admire the wrong people. So many of us are so used to the modern, western way of life that we’ve lost touch with the real world. We have all these distractions – and that is what they are. As much as we think they are life and death. Television celebrities and sports stars are people that many of us look up to. But when times are hard, it’s obvious who we can’t do without. Collectively, we need to get our priorities right and a crisis shows us what’s important.

I’m like most of you. I enjoy sport. It gives me ‘down time’ – time where I don’t think of other pressing matters like work. I’m a football fan. When my team wins, I feel great. I ride the highs. I also come down during the lows with thousands of others. But this isn’t the be all and end all.

The COVID-19 enforced lockdown and abandoning of sport has highlighted how (even though we miss it) these things are purely entertainment. Down time, instead, is taken tidying the garden. Or doing a bit of DIY. The same goes for celebrities that many people idolise. Yes, there will always be TV re-runs, but soon, all the pre-recorded shows such as soaps will run out of new footage and television stations will look for other shows (or re-runs!) to fill those gaps. While television can provide that downtime (hey, I’m a Netflix and YouTube guy of an evening!) it isn’t essential. You can always pick up a book if you don’t want to watch a TV re-run, right?

Who or what is essential then?

Hard times instantly highlight the essential roles that we take for granted. Those involved in the food supply chain. From the farms to shelf stacking and home shopping delivery. The people keeping the power switched on. The water companies working to keep that supply of clean water coming. And of course, vitally, the emergency services, hospitals and front line workers in other roles such as carers, physios, bin men, doctors, occupational therapists and local authority staff who we cannot do without. These people are our heroes right now.

So when you feel bored as you can’t go out and do the things you would normally do, be thankful that you can still function, be thankful that you’re safe and be happy that you’re not about to go hungry.

We don’t need overpaid and overexposed celebrities. We don’t even need sports entertainment (though many of us want it!). What we do need is our essential workers. It’s a shame that we don’t realise this until a crisis shows us what’s important. But we know now and will be better for it, right?