Beginning with a National Day of Prayer and Action this coming Mothering Sunday when they want families to light a candle, and undertake gestures of goodwill, Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu hope a spirit of community will define the UK’s response.
And it is this need for self-awareness about the plight of others, like the elderly struggling to buy essential supplies and everyday essentials, that will transcend society and overcome the self-interest of those whose panic buying, and selfish greed, has fuelled a sense of panic.
Citing the Good Samaritan, their combined call for everyone “to be attentive to neighbours and to those who are vulnerable” is one that The Yorkshire Post also commends – some preventative measures, like working for home or additional hand-washing, are relatively inconsequential compared to children entitled to free meals who might go hungry if their school is required to shut for a prolonged period.
And even more pertinent is the appeal by the Archbishops to respect official advice. “We must not be suspicious or indulge in conspiracy theories,” they warn before setting out the seriousness of this silent killer. “Those who are leading our country are seeking the best advice and can be trusted to do all they can. NHS staff and scientists our Government can call upon are amongst the best anywhere in the world. They have no agenda other than the wellbeing of all.”
If everyone makes a small sacrifice, as the Church leaders seek, this combined effort can offer hope to all those struck down by Covid-19 – or who will be affected by its wider societal consequences.