Mother's column – lessons learnt from the Covid crisis


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo AFP, Oli Scarff

Humankind: a hopeful history. That's the title of the book we are looking into as a reading group. The positive view on human nature, which the book boldly conveys, differs in many ways from the biblical doctrine of the sinful nature of man. In any case, the book provides plenty of material for discussion. Is it healthy to assume people's good intentions, or does that clash with a biblical view of mankind? The author sometimes has quite a good point, but in his worldview, God plays no significant role.

At the time we read the book, a new virus is taking hold in China. We do not worry much yet: scary diseases are common in countries like that. We export another few million face masks. They need those, and we won't! Then the ICUs in Italy start filling up with people suffering from the new virus. But we still think we will get away with it. In southern Europe, everything is simply not as well organised as in the Netherlands, is it?

In the months that follow, we stubbornly believe in ourselves: we organise a so called “intelligent lockdown” (that is: more intelligent than other countries with its strict rules), and “together we will get the virus down”, our prime minister keeps saying. We see great togetherness and countless people putting their lives on the line for others. Okay, a few miscreants cough cops in their faces, but most people turn out to be reasonably decent.

Perhaps this crisis is a turning point in history, some muse hopefully. Surely we will realise by now that all those plane rides for fun are getting us nowhere? At some point, we have reflected and learnt so much that we almost await the next wave of Covid cases with confidence.

But the second wave overwhelms us anyway. And the turning point with its attendant reflection does not concern us at all anymore. We want to return to the old normal by now! Convinced of our own truth, we shout the strongest statements, and we don't even know whether our next family visit can go ahead. Maybe there will be new measures in place by then. Or we will be in quarantine. Or we will be on life support.

The Covid crisis taught us to spell "God willing". But what has remained of that attitude now the number of cases remains stable and the virus does not make us very sick anymore? I have severe doubts about whether we have learnt our lesson. Because if we have learnt anything these last three years, it is this: we are stubborn people, and pride is life-threatening to humankind.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).



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