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I have been wondering how long it would take for us human beings to realise we are all in this life together. How long it will take for us to realise “what I do affects my brothers and sisters and what my brothers and sisters do affects me?”.

Here in Australia, where we have been lucky so far, we have seen the situation of buildings housing our poor and needy locked down with the occupants not being able to go out. We see for ourselves the effect of decades of neglect by governments to supply adequate social housing. By sticking all these people in a building as cheaply as possible we have potentially created Covid-19 petri dishes where the virus has a home base to spread out from to eventually affect us. God help those very countries we have left to grind away in their own poverty because denied of the resources the rest of us have, we have allowed an environment to be created which will lead to countless unnecessary deaths. All this could then come back and bite us on the bum.

This pandemic has been made worse by decades of austerity and our lack of compassion for the poorest in our world.

I reckon there is also something else going on which is simmering below the surface. A counter narrative to the dominant one which has allowed such a divide to grow between the rich and the poor. But it is even more subtle than that. It has a lot to do with how we treat one another and how successive governments have been more interested in the economy than in the society they attempt to govern.

In Australia we have been very lucky so far. Our deaths are listed in the tens and hundreds in sharp contrast to most of the rest of the world where the death toll has risen to out of control levels. It amazes me that the wealthiest of countries like the United States and the UK have rampant death rates. It affects me personally because I work in those countries and in Zoom meetings hear their stories first hand. These stories fill me with fear and rage at the realization that human life has been treated so cheaply. It is so sad that the governments with the most resources and the countries who pride themselves on their academic achievements and first rate management skills have basically stuffed it up.

So, it is my belief that the spotlight highlighting the counter narrative will come from the hundreds and thousands of families who are slowly beginning to realise they have lost their loved ones needlessly.

Mark my words there will be a day of reckoning for those governments who have allowed so much death to occur. Those governments, knowing full well what they were facing, in a way stood idly by, hoping in a way, it would all go away. In other words, they treated this pandemic as a political problem rather than a social one.

There is really no excuse for the richest countries and those with the most knowledge to let the virus rip through their communities.

One can see the beginnings of this counter narrative now in the fact that so many families in the UK are making legal moves to eventually bring the government to account. In the last few days I have noticed this happening in the USA, too.

I need to say, I am not just talking about “stuff ups” because these just happen, I am talking about governments deliberately looking the other way when they shouldn’t.

I happen to believe that every human life on this earth is precious and if we take that as a fact, what we do is then in the best interest of everything including the economy. Of course, during a pandemic there will be deaths but to cold bloodedly allow them to happen is ultimately in no-one’s interest.

This huge gap between the rich and the poor has created a sense of entitlement which the rich use to justify their right to demand the economy as taking priority over human life. They do not think they will be the ones who will die and suffer. That will occur to the poor with their low health profile, their low income and ant nest social housing.

However, where this thinking has gone wrong is that the wealthy have their elderly relatives in nursing homes too and many have died. So those very people who thought they would get through it unscathed, haven’t and like all entitled people they will demand retribution. “Bugger the poor, it’s my mother or father who died and I am really angry”, more and more are saying.

So, by ignoring the poor for all these years we have created an environment in which we suffer as well.

People may well say that some are suiciding because the economy is suffering, and they have lost everything. This again points to the lack of resources we have put into building a loving compassionate world where there is a place for everyone, and everyone feels supported and cared for.

As I said at the beginning, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. We lost sight of that for a while and it has come back to bite us by taking our loved ones away.

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  1. gerry 30 July 2020 at 10:32 - Reply

    So how will that affect Victoria?

  2. Julie Goodsir 30 July 2020 at 11:19 - Reply

    I agree completely. The arguments I hear over wearing mask are a case in point. As the Premier of Victoria said “wearing a mask is not too much to ask.” If I can help and/or protect one person by wearing a mask, especially on public transport, why not do it? It costs next to nothing and is not too uncomfortable. I think we must look out for one another. I agree Bill.

  3. Bob Lamaro 30 July 2020 at 11:53 - Reply

    Dear Reverend Crews.
    I read your thoughts today & agree with your comments on the increasing divide between the wealthy & not-so wealthy & the preoccupation with the economy.
    I live in Lindfield but grew up in Bankstown. My father was a process worker who worked shift work at the same company for 40 years.
    I never wanted emotionally or materially although resources were limited. My mother saw herself as “home maker” although she was a trained nurse. As my sister & I left school Mum worked in a factory, did ironing & house cleaning to supplement Dad’s modest income. I am comfortable financially in retirement but observe greed, selfishness & a lack of tolerance for the less fortunate – as if they’re to blame for putting the economy under pressure.
    Thank you for reminding me of what is important in our society & congratulations on what you do on a daily basis.

  4. Susannah Cavill 30 July 2020 at 16:55 - Reply

    Spot On! I believe that when God is ignored, satan works diligently. “Come unto me all…” Worth remembering the Lord’s words.

  5. joash ndege 30 July 2020 at 18:56 - Reply

    we just to trust God because the only way is jesus

  6. Phil Ryan 30 July 2020 at 19:05 - Reply

    “FULL MARKS” Rev Bill nailed it.

  7. Andrea obrien 30 July 2020 at 19:28 - Reply

    I agree 1000 %
    I was really poor once and people treat you has second class citizen it’s devastating

  8. Chris 31 July 2020 at 08:33 - Reply

    Thank you Bill.

    You are a man of compassion and insight of a very worrying world.

    God bless you and your work.

    in Him


  9. Arthur 31 July 2020 at 10:48 - Reply

    You are right Bill, and the spread in the nursing homes of Victoria was because the people who worked there were new migrants with poor English skill, minimal training, no job security working a number of jobs in different places, which is why it was spread. The poor wages and conditions and exploitation of those people is what has worsened the problem which started with the underpaid and under-trained security guards in the Melbourne quarantine hotels. Un-unionised and unsupported by Fairwork, Australia’s bureaucratic alternative, Australia turned a blind eye to this exploitation and now it is payback time.

  10. Peter Boyle 31 July 2020 at 11:20 - Reply

    Well said Rev!

  11. Pauline McKelvey 31 July 2020 at 12:05 - Reply

    Bill, thank you for sharing your compassionate thoughts and feelings and your insight. The narrative is changing, lies and deceptions are being cleared away reveal the truth about our need to love each other. God bless you and your work. I received my spiritual education in the very place where you have done so much to offer Christian help to those in need, Ashfield Methodist Church. Sam McKibben’s spirit is present with you all there.

  12. Jan Riach 31 July 2020 at 13:48 - Reply

    Thanks for those knee jerking words Bill……I also see the younger, “ME” generation, not taking this Pandemic seriously. I generalise here…..There are some wonderful young people out there who could make the World a better place, if they are listened to.
    There are also a lot who just want to live for today and to hell with tomorrow. “The virus will not touch me. It only kills off the old foagies and the useless who are a waste of space and resources anyway” ….attitude.
    No Man/woman is an island. We all need each other . The Yahoo and partying has to stop. At least until things are under control. What happened to small conversation groups, sitting around having meaningful exchanges of ideas and feelings.

  13. Mary Paffas 31 July 2020 at 16:13 - Reply

    How right you are, I agree wholeheartedly with you, what a selfish world we live in 🥺😪

  14. Elizabeth Owen 31 July 2020 at 16:47 - Reply

    I agree with your analysis, but is there a solution to the problem of human greed that gives rise to differential treatment of the poor and vulnerable compared with the priviledged? Perhaps a national forum would be a first step. A motivational factor for the privileged might be an appeal to self-intetest: caring for the poor may have benefits for them. Forget appeals to humanitarian concerns as a motivator; self-interest will prevail with most. Of course, it would need to be packaged as a humanitarian response, as the rich and powerful would not admit that self interest was their main concern. But if the economic benefits and health benefits to the rich of caring for the underprivileged could be packaged as humanitarian concerns for marketing purposes, the privileged might be persuaded. Yes, I am cynical.

  15. Ursula Heffernan 31 July 2020 at 17:21 - Reply

    You are so right, Bill.
    We are better than this.
    We must stop being selfish and insular.

  16. Damian Collins 31 July 2020 at 19:49 - Reply

    Thank you very much Bill for your insightful and poignant comments on this. I agree totally.

  17. Donna Boyd 3 August 2020 at 22:08 - Reply

    Totally agree Bill, wonderfully said!

    I myself have said similar to family members and friends. I pray and hope through this pandemic if nothing else, people learn the importance of caring for each other and more importantly those less fortunate.

    P.S I am happy to buy and donate some masks later his week.

  18. Robert Duker 4 August 2020 at 14:28 - Reply

    Yes Bill it’s very true, we should respect our fellow human beings. Re Covid 19 I often do some shopping at Westfield Hurstville. I have tried help fight this problem by wearing a mask like many other sensible people and keeping social distancing . I know that at the moment it is not mandatory . There were many people not wearing any sort of face covering and all seem not to be concerned.
    Unfortunately this is fact at the present time.
    When will our Brothers and Sisters use some common sense and take some responsibility for there actions. Some prayers may help.

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