And so, we have just about reached the day when all Covid led restrictions will be lifted. No longer will Govt instruct us as to what we can or cannot do. Now it is up to us. Covid is here to stay and we have to learn to live with it. They tell us it will be like ‘flu. Its impact mitigated as far as it can be by regular vaccination. The virus will still be circulating – even mutating – and no doubt from time to time we will have to be reminded that this is so. Nevertheless, the time has come for us all to take responsibility for our own health and well-being, all the while realising that this is best served by our being prepared to share that responsibility on behalf of others. But while Covid has been the direct cause of the suffering of many millions across the world; in its ‘aftermath’ we will become increasingly aware of those who have suffered ‘indirectly’, who continue to suffer ‘indirectly’ and who will go on suffering ‘indirectly’ long after the immediate and direct impact of the viral infection has dissipated. And of course, we know about ‘Long Covid’, Mental Health, Education Opportunities, Career Advancement, Non Covid Health Treatment; these are the main areas of concern with regard to life post the Pandemic. But there may be a deeper concern which ought to have found its way to the surface of understanding how we are to live as a consequence of having lived through the ‘ordeal’ of the last two years. That is, how do we understand our place – the place of humankind – within the wider panoply of the creation? Is it not, or at least should it not be a staggeringly humbling experience for all of us to be made to confront the reality that the totality of human life has been brought to a standstill by a virus – a living organism so small that it can only be seen with the aid of a very powerful microscope – such that everything we might have predicted to happen, may have planned for, indeed assumed was within our gift to ensure that it did happen regardless, that all of this was thwarted in this way? On the one hand we have the Psalmist’s assertion that God has made humankind – us –
‘…a little lower than the angels and crowned [us] with glory and honour.
…made [us] rulers over the works of [God’s] hands;
[God] put everything under [our] feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth…’
But then we find ourselves outwitted by the very smallest of ‘the animals of the wild’. It may be that responsibility for the creation demands of us a healthy respect for it. An awareness that to have such responsibility demands proper care and attention in our dealings with it. Rather than manipulating it to suit our own ends; allowing it to be an end in itself which we as human beings have a particular responsibility to ensure so that all creation is enabled to be productive rather than destructive. It begins and ends with us…