Thought for the day 21 August

News of further countries added to the ‘self-isolate when you enter the UK’ list, and further restrictions in local areas because of rising numbers of Covid cases. For those affected there must be a range of feelings: fear, frustration, disappointment, anger, as people adjust to not being able to go to work (with perhaps a big impact on income), not being able to go to things, or do things that they had planned, not being able to see people/ look after relatives who need help, having to depend on others for things like shopping. For some there may be a strong temptation to think ‘but I don’t have the virus, it isn’t practical for me to accept this new self-isolation/ set of lockdown rules’ or  ‘I kept to the rules, when other people didn’t, and now I have to suffer for their blatant disregarding’. Who is to say that we wouldn’t have those feelings if we were in their position? It is a hard one: not easy to point the finger of blame; hard to ensure that such restrictions don’t cause division in communities. What can be done to heal wounds and stop them festering?

Lord, it isn’t for us to judge people or communities over keeping to guidance on social distancing etc. But we can see that self-isolation and local lockdown – though necessary – can bring hardship and a sense of injustice. We pray for those affected, and ask that we are ready to help whenever we can