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Captain Tom has captured the hearts of a nation, indeed the world, over recent days. This incredible man has, at time of writing, raised over £22 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, before his 100th Birthday on 30th April. 

This determined Yorkshireman (I had to mention it as a Yorkshire lass myself!) has been interviewed on TV and radio stations around the world, has had messages from Prince William, Boris Johnson, countless celebrities and has even released a single with another of my favourite men, Michael Ball.

There is no doubt that what he has achieved is heroic, and I can’t think of a more perfect figure to inspire us at this difficult time. 

Were we looking for a hero though?

In times of crisis we need a beacon of hope. When we feel threatened we shine the Bat light, we pray, we look for someone to rescue us. We search for stories of survivors, of helpers. 

We look for those beacons of hope that we will get through this, that we are being helped.  

Difficult times bring out the best and worst in people. We have seen it throughout the centuries. Communities pull together, support each other and rise up to protect each other against whatever the threat may be.

United against the enemy.

More often than not this has been one tribe, belief system or country uniting against another. 

There are so many similarities between our current situation and the war times of the past; food shortages, lives at risk, essential workers taking priority over entertainment and frivolity, community spirit growing, uncertainty but most of all fear and a palpable grief for a life that we may never fully return to. We may not be living in fear of a bomb dropping on our house, but instead we daren’t visit our parents in case we give them a virus which might kill them. There are shortages of essential equipment for the workers who need it to keep themselves and their families safe. While there may not currently be any real food shortages, but the panic buying, which was caused by fear that there would be shortages, has caused certain products to be impossible to buy.

Many families are facing very challenging times financially. There is fear over families where abuse may be taking place and the world has a very real fear of the actual virus and whether we are strong enough to fight it should we become infected. 

The fear of the world may never be quite as it once was, the threat to our daily routine, the threat to our lives, is all very much like a war. 

Our current crisis is very different. 

 We aren’t fighting other humans, we are fighting an invisible virus. The whole world is united against this threat. The whole world working towards a cure. Trying to figure out the most effective way to triumph. 

Mean while most of us are sitting at home and desperately searching for an escape; mental and physical. There is no wonder then that we discover a man like Captain Tom, a wise, humble man who had the modest ambition of raising £1000 for the NHS, and we follow his story, place all our hope in him and celebrate him. He is indeed our hero of the Corona Crisis.

This fabulous veteran fought in World War II helping to defeat a very different “enemy” and he has now raised a miraculous amount to help protect the UK against this new invisible enemy.  

When we are scared we all need a hero. A child who falls needs their parent. If someone is being attacked the hope that there will be a hero to rescue them. The citizens of Metropolis look out for Superman when someone needs saving and we have all been looking for heroes to rescue us from this uncertainty.

There have of course been thousands, perhaps millions of heroes. The health care providers, the shop workers, lorry drivers, police, teachers, social workers, refuse collectors, warehouse staff, delivery drivers… the list goes on and on. There are countless stories of humanity and kindness but just as Vera Lynn became a beacon of hope during WWII so Captain Tom has become a symbol of hope for the current crisis. 

Thank you Captain Tom

Thank you Captain Tom for showing us all how to live during this time of lockdown. Thank you for your determination and humour in raising such a staggering amount of money.

Thank you for being our hero.

If you would like to Donate to Captain Tom’s appeal you can follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs

 

 

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