It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

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‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity’ (A tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in an unprecedented time. I continue to work for the NHS but I am also a member of the Sedgemoor district council. I came across doctors and nurses risking it all to deliver the best for their patients. I also see the local communities rally up to support one another. Crises had, indeed, brought out some of the best in us.

The Government would claim that we are well prepared for this pandemic but the reality may tell a different story. We are still falling short in testing for healthcare workers and screening for the general population. The British Medical Association suggested that in some parts of the country Personal Protective Equipment is running dangerously low. Hospital doctors also suggested that we are low in stock for certain medications such as propofol. Some would also argue that we were too late to implement the lockdown and gave up too early on contact tracing.

Professor Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine would suggest that The UK is an outlier(£) in terms of its ‘open border policy’.

With families and people losing their loved ones, suffering from an uncertain financial future and a unpredictable impact on our physical health and mental wellbeing, this could be one of the worst of times.

To help our nation, we need to work together. We need to strictly adhere to all social distancing recommendations. We also need to offer our constructive criticism where this is due and continue to hold the government to account.

This period also give us time to reflect and speculate into the future.

Would this spark the beginning of de-globalisation or perhaps a different kind of globalisation?

Are we on the verge of an Information and Communication revolution where more people will now work from home and International travel would be kept to the minimal?

Would this bring about an era of minimalism where we cherish time spent with family over material possession?

Our society will never be the same again.

* Gary Wong is a Libdem Councillor and the new Membership Development officer for Chinese Liberal Democrats.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Antony Watts 24th Apr '20 - 8:43am

    ‘It was the best of times,
    FTSE 7500

    it was the worst of times,
    FTSE 5500

    it was the age of wisdom,

    it was the age of foolishness,

    it was the epoch of belief,

    it was the epoch of incredulity’

  • Polling shows that that there is a strong desire for change amongst the UK public. What might the changes be and can they be sustained. Surely, there be will resistance from vested interests. I feel hopeful and at the same time anxious of the long struggle ahead. Globally, I hope we can learn lessons to construct more collaborative and resilience systems and not fall apart into competing powers that demonise each other.

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