In this age of lock-down, social distancing and self-isolation, the great expectation was that digitalisation would be one of the saving factors. Well in a way that has turned out to be true. Virtual school teaching, online business conferences and the multitude of chat apps all give the impression that we would be lost without being in touch via social media.
What is intriguing is that the opposite is also true. The most optimistic stories we share are about community singing where the balconies of blocks of flats become the backdrop for community singing.
People actually coming out of their homes and at a safe distance applauding the work of their national health services. These activities take us away from the awkwardness of Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and the others and they add a huge sense of real community.
Social distancing in large cities also brings out a much heightened sense of awareness of others. Keeping 2 metres away, changing the line of your path with a smile or nod of the head as you pass, all strengthen the realisation that despite the lock-down and all persuasiveness of our digital gadgets, there is a humanity there that cannot be denied. Humanity isn't digital. Its analog and its real. In a sense, the pandemic has served to show these values that are really the most important ones (and they ain't digital).
All photographs are from the web - with a nod of thanks to those who have the copyright
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