If ever there was a need for patience, now is that time. It is hard. I am deeply impatient most of the time. I am that really annoying person that insists that more checkouts are opened if the queues are long in a shop. I hate it when I phone a business at 9.01 and get a recorded message that they don’t open until 9. And don’t even start me on schools sending home letters about the importance of pupil punctuality (which is important) but then being consistently late in opening their doors for parents attending events.
But sometimes you just have to wait for things. When a project is important and urgent, there is always a temptation to keep throwing more and more resources at it to speed things along. But that does not always help. Take, for example, baking a cake. A few extra pairs of hands may help to get the ingredients measured and mixed a bit more quickly, but the mixture will need half an hour in the oven however many cooks are in the kitchen. Turning the oven up won’t make the cake ready faster, it will burn it on the outside while leaving it raw in the middle. Time solves most things in the end, and sometimes it is the only solution.
Now is such a time. Of course people want to go back to work and school, to go for walks in the country, to see family and friends and to escape the confines of lockdown. I get that, I really do. I know that many desperately need to get back to work for economic reasons and I am truly sorry for the hardship that they face as a result. This is a very hard time for many, but we must be patient.
Moving out of lockdown too early will be like putting down the umbrella while it is still raining – it will undo all that has been achieved so far. But in this case, the consequences are far more serious than getting wet. By now I am sure that very many of us will either have lost someone close to us or know someone that has. It is absolutely heartbreaking. We must stop this as soon as possible, and the way to do that is to be patient.
I am no doctor or scientist. I do not know exactly what the best conditions are to ease restrictions. But I do know that if it made sense to stay at home to stop the spread of this horrible virus last week, it makes sense to continue doing so for a while yet as this pandemic seems far from over. We must trust the experts to know what they are doing, while testing any kind of political spin which inevitably gets thrown in.
It is hard. Like many of you I’m sure, I look at the daily figures and graphs to try and find what I am looking for – signs of hope and that the worst is over. It does feel like we may be getting there. But with so much data and so many graphs available you can really find whatever you are looking for if you search hard enough.
So we must be patient. We must wait till we can be confident that we have this properly beaten. We must, as you are taught at primary school, run all the way to the end of the race, not slow down before we get to the finish line.
It is hard, but by taking one day at a time, we can do this together. If you are struggling, and lots of us are, there is a huge range of support and help available. This time will pass.