For the moment imagine you were born in 1900. Many would think that that was a pretty simple time of life. Then on your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war, including many of your friends who volunteered to defend freedom in Europe.
Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. If you were lucky, you had a job that paid $300 a year, a dollar a day.
When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. If you lived in London England or most of continental Europe, bombing of your neighbourhood, or invasion of your country by foreign soldiers along with their tank and artillery was a daily event. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.
On your 62nd birthday there is the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could have ended. Sensible leaders prevented that from happening.
Now, in 2020, we have the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands have died; it feels pretty dangerous; and it is!
I owe the above analysis to my friend Sushil Radia. It does bring things in perspective. I know my own grandmother was born around 1900 and now realise the challenges she must have felt.
Now bring yourself to the present. Today we live a blessed life in relative comfort supported by so much. We have the mobile phones with innovative communication apps that enable us to talk face to face with family and friends. Yes, we do not have to go to some phone booth and try and have a conversation via a poor line. I have had coffee mornings and drinks with friends and I have had prayers with family using the phone apps and the feeling is as good as meeting in person. I have attended various webinars which otherwise would have required me to travel for over one hours to attend a lecture.
Could you have imagined convincing your GP to make a video call to deal with your medical issues? Now he or she is willingly doing that thanks to Covid19. You can order your medication from the Patient Access and NHS Health Now Apps. These are worth downloading as they give a lot of authentic medical information.
We can also order our groceries online and have these delivered.
We are constantly being entertained by social media, an array of TV and film channels supplemented by various streaming companies. I recommend a film called Sawaan, which is a reminder of how lucky we are.
Despite our challenges we would all rather be living now than 100 years ago! Let us be thankful that we are where we are.