Wishing Everybody a Happy Easter

It has been a difficult few weeks for us all. When the lockdown began, which will be three weeks ago tomorrow, we could not even begin to understand what was to come. And who can blame us - it has been simply incomprehensible.

Almost three sennights later and we find ourselves in the midst of a bank holiday weekend like no other. Glorious weather; the land deserted.

Whilst, like many others, I have been able to continue to carry out my work from my home, I know that for some it has not been that simple. Some have been furloughed, some have sadly lost their jobs and some are in limbo as to what is to come for them, their businesses and their families.

The government has laid out their plans, the most ambitious and comprehensive in history, to try to tackle the issue. But I know for some that will not be enough.

I urge you - stay connected.

As much as some of us will struggle, myself included, it will help an enormous amount to keep in contact with those who you usually socialise. Jump on a Skype call, organise a Zoom get-together, start a House Party (the app, not in person of course!). There are many complex problems, but one surefire way to keep your mental health at a good point is just to talk to a friendly face.

We can get through this. All we need to do is stay apart, but stick together.

Most of all, as we come to the most important part of the Christian calendar, I can't help but feel that something in particular resonates this year.

As a Christian, Easter symbolises the rising of Christ, but for me, it does not stop there. The Easter story is possibly the single best allegory for what we face, and how it will come to an end.

At the moment we are indoors, our normal way of life hidden away and blocked off for now, but we will break free of the virus, our way of life will break out past the preverbial boulder at the entrance to our tomb and we will return to a new time. A new time filled with new hope, new vision and a new sense of community, the likes of which we have never seen before.

I don't know about everybody else, but this lockdown has hit home in the sense of making me appreciate the ordinary things in life. The small chats in the office, the quick pint in the local on a Friday night, the happy by-chance encounters with friends old and new.

Most importantly, the relationships we have recently built.

I can't end this article without mentioning those who we must not forget. To those keeping our country moving, the wonderful nurses and doctors in the NHS, the amazing delivery drivers, supermarket staff, teachers, carers; there are simply too many for me to put in this article.

To paraphrase a famous Winston Churchill saying: "never was so much been owed to so many by so many."

Remember. I know this will be getting old for a lot of people and it will be incredibly monotonous to read once more. But we can all do our bit, simply by staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

I wish you all a Happy Easter, and encourage any of you who would like to chat to email me. I will do my best to respond, but as I spend Easter with my family I know that many will simply not be able to.

My thoughts are with everyone. We can and we will get through this, and we will come out better on the other side.

Jack Rydeheard, Editor for Conservative Progress

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