We’ve clapped the health workers and the carers. We’ve applauded Captain Tom. Medals are being struck and honours will be awarded for those who have given exceptional service to the community during the pandemic. Absolutely right. There are many heroes to be honoured.
But I want to spare a clap for the unheroes too. The unheroes are those of us who haven’t managed to do anything exceptional during the pandemic. We haven’t risen to the occasion, or given conspicuous service to the community. Frankly we hated the lockdown. Perhaps we were ill, or shielding, or furloughed from work, or working from home, and we found it depressing. We were confused by the disruption of our ordinary routines. We grumbled a lot. We never quite discovered an answer to that terrifying future question, ‘And what did you do during the pandemic, grandad?’ We didn’t even tidy the attic.
So why do we, the unheroes, deserve a small round of applause? Because we stuck it out. We hated every minute of it, but we kept to the rules, we stayed at home, and we didn’t put other people’s lives at risk. We were part of an enormous global effort to contain the spread of coronavirus and prevent it from killing yet more people. To that extent, we did our bit. We too saved lives. That’s what we did during the pandemic.
Dean of Worcester