It’s become an important moment for so many of us over the past 10 weeks: the clap for key workers at 8pm on Thursday evenings.
What began in darkness in mid-March now takes place in bright sunlight and the applause for NHS staff now embraces care workers, supermarket staff, drivers and all the essential workers who have kept things going during the weeks of lockdown.
Tonight may be the last clap for a while. The woman whose idea it was, Anne Marie Plas, has suggested it become an annual event instead. So it seemed appropriate, on this last occasion, that we shouldn’t just clap key workers, we should also clap each other.
Because over the past two months, people in Britain have made tremendous sacrifices to protect each other and particularly our most vulnerable citizens. Humanity’s inclination to be kind during the coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented, uplifting demonstration of solidarity.
More than anything, it has shown us what we are capable of doing together. We must hold on to that as we face the other challenges which threaten us all, the climate and nature crises.
All those warnings about how human beings are basically shallow and self-interested have been shown to be what they are: myths, peddled by those with a vested interest in spreading fear. The truth is that goodness is hardwired in humanity.
And it’s been on display with the hundreds of thousands of volunteers willing to risk their lives to help out, the millions of key workers who put duty and compassion above their own safety and the mutual aid movement which has brought together communities up and down our land, determined to ensure that none amongst us suffers unnecessarily or alone.
There is an important message that all political leaders should be taking from the response to coronavirus: people are prepared...