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  • Writer's pictureRichard Plumpton | ii |

Will the Lessons from the Pandemic Stick?

[Image: Home Schooling During COVID-19 | © BZ Berlin]

There was a moment in time during the first COVID lockdown when glimpses of a better world could be seen.

When Jobseeker payments in Australia showed what a real social security net could look like. When looking out for your vulnerable neighbours became the norm vs. the exception. When a life of simple pleasures was high on everyone's list, rather than the constant need to be (or at least seem) busy. When we saw how well we could work together to find a vaccine and thought "why not on climate change as well?" When simply clapping to say thank you made you feel properly connected to your community and even to all of humanity, just for a moment.

So many positive moments in a time of darkness and loss. So many moments to bring a smile before the next COVID-19 curveball is thrown at us.

As we near the (hopefully) halfway point of this seemingly endless pandemic, my mind is naturally turning to what comes next. Will we be able to hold onto any of these hints at a better world? Will we be able to take the positives from how we worked as a global community and turn them to solving poverty? To eradicating slavery? To creating real equality for all? To closing the gap for indigenous Australians? And yes, to tackling climate change.

As a natural optimist, my natural inclination is to say a resounding 'yes!' However, amongst all the positive moments of the past 12 months, there have also been way too many negative ones. The denial of COVID 'as a thing'. The selfishness and lack of empathy from so many. The panic buying in supermarkets. The drive to profit from the crisis.

My fear is that we will all resort to type amidst the fatigue that will inevitably set in as we emerge from lockdown for the last time. That the lessons currently being glimpsed will be allowed to fade.

I hope not.


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