This is specifically a UK based event. We locked-down for the first time, this time, exactly one year ago.
But the significance, shared sense of purpose and feeling? Those qualities transcend geographical and even ideological boundary.
So we take a moment, today. Prince Charles himself has led the call and it DOES inspire. Let that be a lesson to anyone seeking to undermine his authority to sit as future King of England. Sensitive, philosophical, patriotic, proud. Marie Curie end of life care are also playing their role in this event.
Let us never forget that, however much one may politicise or spin figures, there were indeed ‘Covid related deaths’. As in, those who, due to everyday personal concerns being placed on hold for greater good, perhaps put their own fight with cancer as a secondary affair.
There were those who did not attend screenings, perhaps, and thereby missed that vital, narrow window of time, to diagnose and treat at first instance. This horrible pandemic, even plague, killed so many more than it merely infected, directly.
And then, let us not forget the ‘mental health’ dimension here. Much is made of the phrase today, to the extent that it risks saturation over clarification. There remain almost innate and unbeatable prejudices against the conditions that can setback our psychological clarity and even the safety of the person. Productivity can be both swelled and destroyed in one bite by the deadly demon that is depression.
Talking therapies and medications improve, almost daily, it seems, both in definition and access. But there is still an awfully long way to go. Declare a genuine mental health problem and it is there, upon a record; stigmas intact; villains waiting to pounce. All the celebrity confessionals and podcasts in all the world, cannot yet wash away those dark, dangerous and even deadly realities.
Corona at least got us TALKING about how isolation, at its bleakest, can indeed begin to shut down our natural psychologies. We are social animals. Losing schools, coffee houses, pubs, offices: it hurt. And it’s going to continue hurting. But by embracing that? In the knowledge that mental health can ‘take’ any one of us at any time? We have thereby grown in pastoral strength and community.
Above all, perhaps, we grew in understanding and support for those disciplines which guarantee societal survival. The Nurse, Doctor, Teacher, first responder. The paramount importance of parenting. Technology as something to embrace in alliance rather than retreat from in fear: a ‘big brother’, for sure, yet a benign and helpful one, nudging us to bigger and better horizons.
And that is just a selection, off the top of my head! There are indeed some good things to come from our management and shared experience of the last year, even though comparison to ‘Blitz spirit’ and the like is unhelpful, we did band together akin to a war, within peace.
As for movies? They are always relevant. I miss Cinema in a way I cannot even articulate. That scent of popcorn, the smiling usher, the hype as the lights go down and the trailers tease you into coming attractions. I cannot wait to get back to it.
Meantime? My buddies have teamed with me on social media; we watch a movie together and comment both in real time and after the event. Is it the same as a movie with burger/fries/coke/pint, in person? Course not! But it’s the next best thing.
We all, as a world of film fans are indeed learning to adapt in the wake of film’s evolution (Snyder Cut Justice League and Coming 2 America are joyous cases in point). And discovering old favourites via streaming platforms while we await the return of the biggest big screens.
In short? Times have been tough. They may very well get tougher. But we have learned and accomplished much as a nation in one year. So just think what we can pull off in two. And trilogies usually end well, on a high note, with Ewok victory dance and a cafe in Florence.
Take a moment /pause/breath to mourn the past losses, whilst embracing our newly discovered verve to fight for better times, together.
It’s the end of the beginning..