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Red and yellow and pink and green...

20 April 2020

By Jessica Sena, Senior Executive

‘Hope you are keeping well in these strange times’ has been my most used email greeting over the past month. Because, that’s exactly what we are living through – strange times. The world feels like it is living through something it has never experienced before and all of us are trying to adapt to this “new normal”. A normal that now entails being at home for the foreseeable future.

The way we communicate has never been challenged and adapted so drastically in such a short space of time. We are using video calls for both work and home (I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my grandparents navigate Zoom) and speaking to neighbours on WhatsApp we may not have spoken to before. Everyone is communicating in their own different ways and there has been a large focus on the different types of technology that are helping us do so.

However, in my local community (and in many others around the country) there’s one way of communicating that many households are using that doesn’t involve technology – the rainbow. On my daily walks I see so many beautiful rainbows made by the younger inhabitants of my neighbourhood. These rainbows take many forms; paintings in the window, chalk drawings on the pavement and even some in the form of sculptures (very creative). Some have messages of hope and faith along with them from the older children, whilst others are displayed with little handprints.

These rainbows show solidarity between households, a symbol that we truly are all in this together. They symbolise our incredible NHS and the gratitude we have towards those on the front line, fighting to save lives. They symbolise all the key workers; the carers, the delivery drivers, the supermarket workers and the teachers, all so important to us right now. They symbolise those doing shopping for their vulnerable family members or neighbours, or even just those dealing with the potential loneliness this crisis has brought with it. When I take my daily walk, I feel a smile upon my face each time I pass a house with these rainbows.

In a time when we are being told to stay apart and keep to yourselves, it is really encouraging to see something bringing so many of us together. When someone asks me what I am doing this evening, I will tell them that I am finally painting a rainbow for our window – you’re never too old, right?