DUVET MUSINGS: Similarities of coronavirus trials and tribulations with the Sheffield Blitz

I am reminded as a war time baby the similarities of our coronavirus trials and tribulations with the Sheffield Blitz as I read the Star supplement.

It highlights not only the sickening loss of life and the devastation caused but the stoicism of the local population after the initial shock, to come together to maintain services , employment and schooling etc.

It reminds me proudly how our own organisation and many others continued to provide continuity of service with all the horror and chaos that followed the Blitz that night on December 12, 1940.

Indeed one of my families proudest possessions is my late mother Irene’s woman of steel medal.

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Graham Moore of Westfield Health

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Typical of ordinary sheffield folk performing extraordinary service to help others, nothing changes over the generations.

Whilst in no way underestimating the consequences of the pandemic in both human and economy terms, we have to marvel how our predecessors coped 80 years ago.

Many losing their lives and livelihoods as has happened during our current crisis. Indeed it is poignant to know that survivors of that terrible night are those currently at greatest risk from the coronavirus and those in care homes cut off from tactile family support for months.

Angel Street in Sheffield during the Blitz in 1940

They are an inspirational generation and at our own company’s centenary tea party for many centenarians marvelled at their pride, enthusiasm and good humour, several wearing their war time medals so proudly as they showed us what ball room dancing was all about, as they sang their favourite rousing songs from that period.

They remind us that whatever the challenges we come together to cope and support each other as happened in both periods. We can take great satisfaction that when our normal way of life is compromised many fellow citizens volunteer to help us often in addition to their normal jobs.

That spirit transcends both periods reminding us that there is nothing unique about facing crises it is the ability to bounce back that counts.

It is a timely reminder that the NHS which has performed heroically during the pandemic was conceived in 1948 as our nation recovered from the trauma and debt of the Second World War and left the legacy of our current welfare state.

As many of our senior citizens will recount there is hope after a catastrophe and their generations sacrifices will inspire us to a better future for us all as we recover from the current crisis .

As then we have to use that crisis as a catalyst for change to build a safer society where your post code does not determine how long you will live.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.