Opinion: Together we can create the new normal

Kevin Jenkins OBE hopes for a better normal post-Covid-19

Kevin Jenkins OBE hopes for a better normal post-Covid-19 - Credit: Kevin Jenkins

First, I offer my sincere condolences to everyone in Newham who has lost a loved one, a friend or colleague – the thoughts and prayers of myself and all Newham’s residents are with you.

Secondly, I offer my sincere thanks to everyone on or contributing to, Newham’s front line every day – your courage, skills and dedication are truly humbling and appreciated.

I hope in the future, when the time is right, we can establish in Newham, lasting and fitting Covid-19 memorials to our residents who have sadly lost their lives and to all the residents who have contributed to Newham’s frontline throughout the endemic.

Led by the mayor, Newham’s residents could be asked to suggest and decide on appropriate memorials.

The response in Newham from the council, the NHS, community groups, faith groups and countless individual residents has been nothing but awe inspiring.


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Sadly though, Newham again leads a table – the Covid-19 mortality rate, which we would all wish we were bottom of.

For so many in Newham, poverty and all the negatives it brings continues to shape their lives – increased by deep rooted structures and systems that those most affected have no influence on or control of.

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As we begin to see beyond the endemic, talk of a new normal, what ever that new normal may be, is gaining momentum.

The virus if anything, has exposed for us all, the fragility of life and the fundamental inequalities that continue to shape the lives of so many.

We need to seize the opportunity, building on the renewed sense of community and fairness that Covid-19 has unleashed for so many people across the country and make the new normal a society that is fair, enabling and aspiring for all.

Is this just an aging idealistic dream?

But then again, who would have dreamt four months ago our lives would have changed so much and so quickly?

Together we can make the change and create the new normal – let’s do it!

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