VE Day draws timely parallel with war on Covid-19

Date: 5th Tuesday, May, 2020

Thankfully, for most British citizens the experience of war is only gleaned through the lens of the TV, Internet or from news and historical information. Processing the reality of these events is near impossible for the onlooker.  For this reason, it is imperative for mankind to acknowledge the impact of past conflicts that have shaped history and our very being – for good or bad. 

On May 8th, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day which marks the surrender of German forces and the end of WW2 in Europe.  Over a 5-year period around 3% of the world’s population – approaching 80 million people - perished. As we prepare to salute the veterans and heroes of WW2, we find ourselves amid yet another war. One that is non-human, silent, invisible to the naked eye, indiscriminate and pervasive.  One that knows no boundaries or follows rules of engagement.  Perhaps primordial in evolution, this organism – coronavirus - has started a very modern-day war that has spread across 187 countries, infecting around 3.5 million people.

Covid-19 has changed our lives.  There is no doubt, we are at war and despite the immense technology and expertise at our disposal, we are relatively powerless, at this juncture, in tackling the enemy.  Never before in human history has the world united around combatting something so small, yet so potentially devastating.  We are under siege.  During WW2, the nation’s steely determination and sacrifice won through and this parallel is palpable in today’s efforts as millions of people find themselves in voluntary lockdown and exercising ‘social distancing’.  There have been casualties, far too many; there have also been heroes, not just on the front line, but also in every town, village and city across the country where people have been helping others in need.  Above all, there has been hope and an eagerness to get back to a ‘new normal’. 

The coronavirus disease surfaced like a rabbit from a hat.  Onlookers watched as the surreal events taking place in China impacted the UK and rest of the world at an astounding rate.  During WW2 the combined forces used their collective strength and resource to overcome the adversary.  Today, finding a vaccine has become an imperative fuelled by global collaboration and a race against time.

Like our forbears, we have pulled together to defeat this deadly foe and our collective efforts are making a difference and saving lives.  This has come at a price and great sacrifice, but our focus has, and must remain, unyielding until we achieve our VC day - our victory over Covid-19 - when the virus is contained and life is allowed to return to normality.  There are no promises for what the future may now bring but, as with great wars in the past, there are certainly lessons to be learnt – the most pertinent of which - how this can never be allowed to happen again?

  Back to blog...