Wednesday, January 19

Time for gratitude

Christmas is a time for gifts – and for gratitude.

After some long-awaited holidays, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to those who have made it possible for the vast majority of us to celebrate Christmas, together with our loved ones, also this year.

This is a leader. The leader expresses VG’s attitude. VG’s political editor is responsible for the leader.

We are all marked by the corona. Now we are immediately entering the third year of the pandemic. It has not become a habit. But it affects our lives in everyday life, in different ways.

The quiet Christmas days give us the opportunity to reflect. To think through how it is, both with ourselves and with those around us. To see each other, and to take care of each other.

No end date

In the first phase of the pandemic, we were good at it. We thanked those who sat at the checkout at the store, and those who made sure there were enough goods for everyone. We thanked the nurses and other health workers. Teachers and kindergarten staff. Bus drivers and cleaners. And all the others who noticed the corona closest to the body. Because they were more prone to infection than most of us. Or because through their work they had to work extra hard and extra hard to keep the infection away from the rest of us.

No one knew at the time how long it would take before the corona was over. We still do not know. But we may be beginning to understand that we will not get an end date for a long time yet. Such recognition should make us take even better care of those affected by the pandemic. Those who work in the most vulnerable occupations. Those who for long periods have lost their livelihood. Or the vulnerable, who have had it even harder than they had before.

Director of Health Bjørn Guldvog and Director of Public Health Camilla Stoltenberg have spent almost all of their waking hours on pandemic management over the past two years.

It is both easy and natural to direct the mind upwards in difficult times. Against politicians and top bureaucrats. They both must and must withstand critical scrutiny. Their decisions have serious consequences for the lives of many people. Both for better and for worse.

The onerous responsibility

But on some quiet Christmas days, while we have time to breathe, we can also send politicians and health leaders a friendly thought. Whether it is Erna Solberg or Jonas Gahr Støre who is prime minister, the government offices are populated by people who do their utmost, and work day and night, to try to deal with a global pandemic to the best of their ability.

Everyone who has attended the regular press conferences with ministers and health leaders during these almost two years with corona, must have registered how the politicians and top leaders in the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the National Institute of Public Health are burdened by the seriousness and the responsibility that lies with them. Many of them have spent just about every waking hour on the corona. They operate in a landscape where much is uncertain, and where they have to make many decisions on a fragile basis.

There is a lot that is difficult right now. It may seem endless. It is all the more important that we are able to see those who make it possible to get through what we are up to. That we are grateful. And that we express it. You meet people in between. Everyday. That’s when we need it most.

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