4 June 2010

Back down to earth

It might sound strange, but I always anxious when I'm on holiday about what might happen in the world while I'm away. The whole point of a holiday is to get away from it all, and I subscribe to that view. No iPhones, no newspapers. You get the picture. This is fine in principle, but I find that I retain an amount of anxiety about what might be happening in the real world while I'm offline and out of the UK.
We returned from a wonderful week in Cyprus to the devastating news from West Cumbria, and it was obviously a massive shock. During our years in Lancaster, visits to Cumbria have been a common affair, and we feel that we identify strongly with the place and the people. Consequently, this all feels very close to home.
Logically, one can look at the statistics about gun ownership and the instances of multiple murder across the world, and this offers some comfort. However, the knowledge that such a tragedy has just happened on your patch has the ability to undermine the common sense approach of the well meaning statisticians and media commentators. I don't feel at any greater risk as a result of the shootings, but I do feel uneasy; and no amount of logic will remove this.
Part of my unease is because I know that the people of West Cumbria will continue to be the subject of media intrusion and unhelpful speculation. We will also see a batch of TV programmes on the subject, along with political debate and news coverage.
What the people of West Cumbria need most at this point is time to come to terms with what has happened, to grieve for the dead, and to begin to look forward again. For the rest of us, too, the world has changed and we'll need time to adjust.

No comments:

Post a Comment