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More Notes from The Orchard for May 2020


I am writing these ‘Notes’ in the confused period shortly after Boris’s ‘Stay Alert’ speech which  the BBC found incomprehensible while many of the public managed to make sense of it and just used their common sense.  So far it seems to be working (or not).  This morning there seems to be a lightness in the air.  Does it mean we can all go back to what people think  of as normal – as it was those few weeks ago.  Is it now beginning to feel that maybe this Coronavirus seems to be coming under control. . . but. . .but. . . underneath that rather pleasant sensation there are some unsettling doubts.  Do I really want my youngest grand-son – all of 11 years old now to go back to school for two or three weeks?  Does my family want Joe and his brother to fly off to Florida to stay with their American grandparents – always assuming planes are going to be flying again?  Underneath all of that, will this terrible virus mutate and come back to bite us all in the bum just as we least suspect it?  With so many horrors waiting round the corner at the precise moment the gift of antibiotics has had its day and nothing sits behind it to come to our rescue as penicillin did towards the end of WW2. . . It’s about time to get on our knees!


Then again, if we do away with lock-down too soon, will it have been in operation long enough for us to remember how we had become used to treating the ‘have-nots’ If we continue to be as selfish as we had become before COV19,  while we concentrated  on such things as holidays, second houses, expensive parties and continual ‘must-haves’ as and when we want them?


How many videos have we now seen of the very poor sorting through our horrible smelly rubbish and sell it on to earn a crust, while our own cupboards are overfilled with clothes we never wear and things we no longer use?


There’s a lot of talk about ‘getting back to normal’ – what does that actually mean?


During the difficulty of everything that has happened over the last couple of months or so, have we noticed the inequality of work and its rewards?  Everyone from the highly qualified surgeons, the nurses, the porters, the cleaners who have worked their socks off and all the efforts of the lower paid who have helped us get through the current difficulties.  Take the doctors, for example, why are some people doctors and other cleaners?  Usually it is because some people are gifted with brains and some with few academic talents but brilliantly endowed with kind hearts who have no illusion of their own importance.  Both sets of people are generally happy with offering their talents as service to the community at large, content with what they earn –though all agree they’d like a bit more money – including you and me!


That’s where ideas of social justice start coming into things,  though when it boils down to the nitty-gritty, people don’t want to pay more taxes.  Do you?  Do I?  Alas, that is where things get difficult. . .  Most people don’t want lots of money, just a bit more.  Not only do they say this but given opportunities, they don’t want huge amounts, and often this shows up where people are given the chance to put their hands on more.  When they are asked to name the amount they would like, as in the games of chance that appear on the internet and TV, frequently it is quite a bit smaller than the viewers expect.


Unfortunately this is just the trick used to entrap us into ‘just a little bit more’ which is how greed grows, imperceptibly so we barely notice. . .


Dearest  Lord,


Help us find a cure for this cruel disease, but never let us forget it.  In the same way let us always remember what you asked us to do, to love one another as you have loved us, to the point of laying down your life for us. . . indeed as so many are doing at the moment while they battle on our behalf against  this pandemic.  Please help them Lord, and keep them safe!





Sarah Bell

© Katy Bell