We are regularly reminded that a global pandemic strikes roughly once a
century, and that the last one was the influenza epidemic of 1918. We are
also called on to revive the ‘wartime spirit’ which (in popular memory)
brought the community together to get through the privations of two World
Wars.
.. ………..which reminds me – in 1914 they said, ‘It will all be over by
Christmas’. It took a further four years before peace was declared.
When Covid-19 began, those in authority seemed confident that it would be
under control by the summer… by the autumn… by Christmas…. and now,
even with the prospect of a viable vaccine becoming a greater reality, the
latest predictions seem to be that things may not get back to normal (what’s
normal anymore?) until late next year.

So what does that do for Christmas? We won’t be able to have big family
parties, that’s for sure. But let us try to find ways of getting together –
maybe inviting just one or two people for meals – maybe using the
telephone or Skype or WhatsApp to share with as many people as possible –
maybe just increasing the number of Christmas cards we send with personal
notes in them. And let’s sing carols however we are able – in the bath, in the
garden, alongside others on TV or Zoom – because whatever else may not
be over by Christmas, nothing can stop Christmas being what it should
always be, the celebration of something which changed this world far more
than any pandemic!

We thank Rev. Anthony Parkinson for writing this article.