Amid all the scenes of pandemonium at Centrelink, an interesting dynamic revealed itself at our food distribution program (the “People’s Pantry”) the other day. I sat at the door, signing people in, and trying to speak clearly through the mask that was fogging up my glasses. People sat patiently and distantly, waiting their turn to enter the hall and choose their food.

I took the opportunity to ask how they were coping with the isolation brought on by the Covid-19 restrictions. Except for those with school-aged children, the response was uniform: life is pretty much the same, and not a lot has changed. For those without jobs and in public housing (ie. the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us), life is going on fairly unchanged: isolated, with little ready cash, and limited opportunities to get out and about. Kinda sounds familiar.

It struck me that the vulnerable among us might have something to teach the once-wealthy, and possibly, the once-wealthy might be in a position to learn those lessons.