Voice of the Jewish News: Let’s thank the heroes of this annus horribilis
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Voice of the Jewish News: Let’s thank the heroes of this annus horribilis

After a turbulent 12 months which has seen hundreds die of coronavirus in the community, the last editorial of 2020 pays tribute to those bringing people together

Jewish News
Drawings in support of the NHS in the windows of a college opposite St Thomas' Hospital in London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Friday May 8, 2020.
Drawings in support of the NHS in the windows of a college opposite St Thomas' Hospital in London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Friday May 8, 2020.

When the Queen addresses the nation tomorrow for the second time this year, she will no doubt reflect on another annus horribilis.

Not just for her and her family, this time, but for the country and the world.

The year 2020 will go down in the history books as one of unprecedented loss – of more than a 1.5 million lives cut short by a rampaging virus (including more than 600 from our community), of businesses facing repeated shutdowns, of human contact even in life’s most painful and joyous moments.

Few things could have fitted this year’s miserable script more aptly than a mutant strain of the virus that forced new restrictions on millions, isolated Britain from her neighbours, closed synagogues and even prevented Christmas gatherings.

As Jews, we know full well how hard it can be to be separated from our loved ones on occasions when families usually gather, such as Pesach and Rosh Hashanah.

But this is also a moment to reflect on the scientific breakthroughs that now provide a path out of this nightmare; few dared to dream that today we’d be publishing stories about Holocaust survivors receiving a vaccine with such high efficacy or that it would soon be rolled out across our care homes.

Crisis has also brought out the best in many: from the carers and healthcare workers who have spent months on the frontline to those who have gone above and beyond to help neighbours and strangers alike.

This will be a festive season without the trimmings, but we shouldn’t forget to count our blessings to live among such heroes.

With their help, and the growing détente spreading across the Middle East that we’ve been so thrilled to cover in recent weeks, let’s hope for a speedy recovery for all those suffering and a healthier, happier and more peaceful 2021. 

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