Will this time of house arrest, deprivation and Coronavirus enforced austerity allow us to revalue our lifestyles? Fractious, chaotic, greedy, idolatrous and self-absorbed, society before this crisis had the hallmarks of absurdity from the perspective of our chastened hindsight. In this emergency humanity has come to the fore personally, locally and in national politics.
Should we ever return to footballers, entertainers and media people being paid so much? Can democratic carping be exchanged for reasonable debate and discussion? Can some depth and seriousness be part of our new life together?
Can alcohol consumption and gambling be abated permanently with new low standards of consumption and practice agreed? Can the false edifices of sporting sponsorships be left to wither towards minimality? Can television exploitation of human weaknesses cease forthwith?
What we need to survive should be the future base line. A simpler collective appreciation of what really matters should be emphasised. Unrestrained consumerism should not dominate existence. The majority of humanity lives without this.
We can rediscover ourselves as nobler creatures with a higher vision of our life’s purpose. The ‘Sabbath’ principle is ancient wisdom but now we are all observing it. The weekly variant could be introduced as a future way of life to increase mental and physical health.
We may never be as free again. Our liberalism had enlarged our capacity for self-destruction. Conspiracy theorists foresee a new world order, managed by elites.
Christianity is embedded in our racial memory. We are acting out its precepts of simplicity, self-denial and love of neighbour. The world is unintentionally observing Lent. The longer this struggle goes on, the more we will change and it may be for the better for everyone.