It must be an 'age' thing, as more often nowadays, my thoughts turn to how current events will fit into that great subject: The History of the World. The three years of Brexit started it - not knowing if or when . . . and whether our departure will prove to be good or bad for Europe and for the UK.
But it has brought into focus that for me and my contemporaries our lifetimes have spanned the greater part of a century - one that has experienced World Wars, computers and artificial intelligence, space travel and globalisation. Now we may be entering a new phase. Hindsight (for the very long-lived!) or the younger generation (when they look back in sixty years), will tell what has been the effect of the events they have witnessed. Will coronavirus have brought the world together in a new spirit of cooperation? Or will we have reverted to the ways of the world Before Coronavirus? Will there be an unnatural (or maybe a natural) change in the behaviour of the next generations? The older ones must stand aside as the young ones take the world forward. But will the young simply adapt and learn from the experience we are all about to face or will they live with a completely new mindset and different lifestyle to that of their predecessors? The world I have been born into and the culture in which I have been brought up may completely disappear. Even now we see changes such as the end of stable, lifelong working careers and much greater freedom of movement. Socially too, much of our contemporary behaviour is all about 'for now' rather than 'for ever'. The pace of life is incessant, almost frantic, driven by all the aids and apps at our fingertips which make life easier and even quicker. Is mankind naturally impatient and unable to stand still or will this new historic 'phase' - the arrival of coronavirus - cause us to ask whether we have simply got things wrong? Perhaps it is time to realise that less is more, that Time has value and we should seek to maximise its availability. If we learn this lesson, maybe the best of the world is yet to come . . . .