A message from CAFOD Middlesbrough community participation coordinator CAROL CROSS about a special appeal to help with the coronavirus crisis in India…
Few people can fail but be moved with compassion by the tragedy unfolding in India. The second wave of coronavirus is having a devastating impact with 17.5m cases and more than 200,000 deaths. The images of the burning funeral pyres bring the scale of devastation into sharp focus.
Each person was someone’s beloved mother or father, son or daughter, husband or wife, sister or brother.
What are we witnessing? The failure of the world’s political and economic systems to deliver the resources that are needed to
ensure everyone gets the help they need to survive.
As usual, the poorest are the hardest hit, living in crowded communities – social distancing is almost impossible.
Several cities have imposed lockdowns and curfews that have a knock-on effect for people’s livelihoods.
Most people work in the informal economy, so they have no choice but to go out each day. For them there is no chance of furlough or working from home.
They don’t have the luxury of ordering an online delivery. They either risk going out and catching the virus to earn money to buy food or stay home and starve to death. They have no other options.
The fortunate ones may get treatment but the majority won’t – there simply aren’t enough resources to treat everyone.
India’s health system is struggling to cope. Hospitals are overrun and oxygen supplies are falling far short of demand. Thousands of people can’t get life-saving treatment.
It’s good that aid is reaching India but look at what it has taken to elicit a response and will we learn the lessons from this pandemic?
But there’s no getting away from the fact that the pandemic has made us realise how interconnected we all are – and that we are not safe until everyone around the world is safe.
We are all responsible for each other, especially those in greatest need because we are all part of the human family and each person is a precious child of God.
And so in hope we pray:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase your mercy in us; that in difficult moments we might not despair, nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves and all the people of the world, to your holy will which is love and mercy itself. Amen.