We now have the long-awaited “Road-map” of how Lockdown in England is going to be eased over the next 4 months. If the BBC’s summary of the route below is accurate, then for most of us it doesn’t look as though much is going to change until almost the very end of March.
Likewise the permission granted from 8th March to sit outside and chat with a friend is a great improvement on what we have not been allowed to do since the beginning of January. Let’s hope for a spell of dry and warm weather in March!
And of course the full return to school of all children will be great for them and their parents. And it will make life much easier for those primary school teachers who for the last two months have been teaching about two-thirds of their children remotely at home, at the same time as teaching about one-third of them in the classroom because they are children of key workers etc. I really don’t know how they manage it! I hope that Friday 5th March will be a significant day for them, as it will be National Employee Appreciation Day (which is celebrated every year on the first Friday in March).
It is always important to show our appreciation to those who work for us, and that’s even more so this year when many people are struggling with the effects of pandemic fatigue.
So perhaps we have to look for the small things that will make at least some difference to individuals.
For people living in Care Homes it is fantastic news that from 8th March they will be allowed one regular visitor. I know it will be very difficult for all the other members of the family who are not allowed access to their loved one; but at least it’s some progress, and some recognition that residents of Care Homes need physical company from someone they love.
If we “take each day as it comes” and “look for the small things” maybe the next month won’t seem so long and difficult. By the end of the month, when six people or two households are allowed to meet outside (and the weather has got a bit warmer), the personal connection that human beings need and long for will be significantly improved.
Of course we will still need to pray for and support all those people whose lives are most seriously affected by the pandemic:
•those who are ill, whether with Covid 19 or other illnesses that require hospital treatment, especially those who have been waiting a long time
•medical staff who are so exhausted and under so much pressure
•those whose jobs are still on hold, working in retail, hairdressing, hospitality and leisure etc
•those who have lost their jobs and all who are struggling financially
As we continue on our journey through Lent, we can use this prayer:
God of compassion, be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With my prayers and very best wishes
I discovered that date from a calendar the Church of England has produced giving significant dates (both secular and religious) for March. You might enjoy reading the full list and thinking about what you might do in relation to each event!
World Wildlife Day – what wildlife (birds, animals) might you see?
World Hearing Day – think about how we communicate.
World Book Day – why not read again one of your favourite books?
Employee Appreciation Day – give a gift to a worker!
International Women’s Day – help forge a “gender equal world”.
Mothering Sunday/Mothers’ Day – we thank God for our mums.
Young Carers Action Day – young carers need our support.
International Day of Happiness – make someone happy today!
First Day of Spring – thank God for the seasons!
Feast of Annunciation - only 9 months until Christmas!
Earth Hour Day – switch off your lights for an hour at 8.30pm.
Daylight Savings: Clocks go forward one hour – lighter evenings!
Palm Sunday – get ready to walk with Jesus through Holy Week.