Mary Gobbi


doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-7(2)-2020pp13-14

When the papers forming this edition of the journal were first submitted, the world was a different place. I write this introduction cheered by the beauty of an English Spring Garden in front of me. Then I notice the refuse bin waiting for the ‘essential workers’ to come today and collect the contents. The road is silent, I hear a distant cuckoo, the daffodils need attention as they are past their prime and I wonder how many I will ‘tie up’ today (another newly acquired skill in the absence of the gardener). With all our metaphors of ‘battle and war’ with the coronavirus, how apt are Tolstoy’s words in War and Peace that ‘the two most powerful warriors are patience and time’. Patience to survive ‘lock down’, time to find a vaccine, being patient in the shopping queue (yet plenty of time to wait – unless you are a key worker). At times like this, academics, employers, educators, students and leaders all have key roles to play in the collective and collaborative actions required for the common good. The battle is against the epidemiological clock of COVID 19- how many lives can be saved? How can we protect the weak and vulnerable? Can we ‘flatten’ the curve? Can we find, make and marshal resources and time (human and material) to ‘beat the clock’ of COVID 19? Consumed by the fire of necessity – the mother of invention – the human qualities, competences and skills which enable us to invent, re-engineer, re- purpose, adapt, change, find solutions and overcome barriers to save lives are very much alive and well. So too are the many acts of kindness, compassion, heroism, perseverance and endurance experienced and witnessed every day in this current crisis.

Some of our readers may be unaware that May 12th is International Nurses Day. This year it marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale – statistician, public health campaigner and creator of modern nursing. Last year, 2020 was designated by the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses as the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’. Although we were due to have had many global celebrations and events in May, perhaps the presence of the pandemic shows us what really matters in life. We should never forget, or devalue, the human qualities, attributes, skills and competences of which we are all capable.

Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it (Florence Nightingale).

For those whose time has been cut short by the coronavirus, we dedicate this edition of the Journal. To our readers who have lost loved ones, we offer our deepest condolences, thoughts and, for those of faith, our prayers.




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