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Will anything change?

July 01 2020
© Mike Stokoe © Mike Stokoe
Things are hopefully going to change says Manchester’s #HealthNow research volunteer Selina Hanley

With the world on lockdown all of a sudden people are starting to experience how people that they might only hear about, or watch on TV, feel like on a daily basis. For example, the rush to bulk buy food for fear of being hungry. People are also losing jobs and having to sign up for Universal Credit – those same people who walked past a person in the street and said, ‘Get a job’.

People will now understand how easy it is to find yourself struggling and maybe feel what it is like to be in despair, not knowing where your next meal will come or when the money will run out.

People who once looked down their nose at the shop assistant, bin men, care workers or were abusive to the nurse at the hospital – now we are all thanking these guys for the work they do. We now realise that when everything stops and the shit hits the fan, as it has, it is these guys who have kept the place moving while the rest of us, who can, have been able to self-isolate.

But if and when this is over, will everyone remember the anxiety that surrounded these uncertain times and think about the people for whom this is a daily experience before there was a pandemic?

Will people be more considerate to others and notice the great work others do?

Will people learn to simply thank people when they have served them or say sorry when someone bumps into you? Will people be more giving to homeless charities and foodbanks? Will people be more understanding of the families that fled their countries to come here for safety?

Will anything change? I believe that people will start to appreciate what they have, they will appreciate the sound of their children playing, they will notice when their neighbours are struggling and need some support. I think people will have more compassion for the struggle of people less fortunate than themselves. I think things will change. They have to.

As for you, this is an opportunity to change the job you hate, by upskilling or doing an adult apprenticeship. Volunteer for a cause you like, give back, do that course, write that book, or even start that business. This is the time to start to make a change.