26 Weeks Later… a balanced view

John Simmons reveals how 26 Weeks exposed the beautiful inevitability of evolution and brings the project to a conclusion, by suggesting three powers that we might take away and indeed he hopes will power us beyond the pandemic …

We have come through an extraordinary time.

We’ve changed a little and we continue … it’s the nature of evolution.

We had to adjust, discovering our innate ability to adapt as we reached our previous limits – so we drew on knowledge and instincts to make balanced choices for ourselves and our communities.

Perhaps we’ve learnt the primary importance of health and wellbeing and the value of those who enable it … and must give heartfelt thanks to the people who make up the NHS.

And perhaps we’ve learnt other things too …

The power of reflection

  • Forced by the situation, we had greater time to simply think – and to enjoy the opportunity to reflect on what really matters to us, our shared humanity
  • Reflection was often about our planet, our relationship with nature, with each other and the other species with which we share the Earth – that we are local communities and a global community

The power of connection

  • People made new friends, established new relationships (often online) and came to value what happens when you listen well and use words well to make connections
  • Empathy is an essential human value, creating balance as it requires us to see things from another perspective, not just our own
  • We were able to explore themes that mattered to others, that then mattered to all of us, through an extraordinary variety of experiences shared

The power of reconnection

  • There were many long-standing relationships rekindled – with the realisation that time and memories deepen friendships, so we should nurture them for life
  • In rethinking and reawakening our connections, we explored our human values and sense of purpose, enabling the balance needed to adjust to the changes in the world around us by reaffirming core beliefs
  • Becoming deprived of live access to arts and culture, while benefitting from science and technology, strengthened our appreciation of both as we now move forward to life reconnected after recent restrictions

26 Weeks remains a lasting record to help our continuing reflections … to which some concluding notes on ‘Reflection and Hope’ have now been added. This archive stands as evidence of the long-term value of taking part with others in something worthwhile and contributing to a unique period in our history.

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