Our Moral Compass

Chris Price
2 min readMar 28, 2020

Day 6

Carrying over a mild headache from yesterday I’m wondering if I’d be able to get paracetamol. Its not really a concern because I probably can and I can’t remember when I last bought them because they don’t work for me anyway.

Its one of those shared concerns that CoVID-19 adds to our collective consciousness. Who doesn’t check people out when they are not in their home. How close are they to others? Are there more than 2 people together? Is this their second exercise for the day or are they going shopping? And now: did they drive to this spot?

Its a great leveller when you are pitted against an enemy that has no prejudice or preference. CoVID-19 is not sexist or racist (maybe ageist) but does come across as a little autoritarian, demanding we wash our hands to the book, curtail our social life and restrict our movements. With the odd exception, none of us have any recollection of a situation like this (WWII ended 75 years ago) but we are cognizant (I’ve been pronouncing this word with an ‘s’ up till now) of the social cohesion it created.

Its not the liberal society that we are now used to, as Boris Johnson pointed out in his reluctance to impose unnecessary restrictions. But many are already seeing the positives. If you have any experience of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers you will be aware of how inventive and resourceful they can be (one of the reasons we should welcome them here). They remind us of what can be achieved when you demand a great deal from yourself with little or no help from outside of your family and friends.

These situations brings out the best and worst of us. The constraints are conducive to creativity as we have seen. Bonds created through adversity can be strong and enduring. Some of the worst aspects such as price gouging, the stealing of foodbank items and attacks on nurses are not really indicative of crises (they stand out in contrast to the general goodwill). What is indicative is the shame game.

Its a fine line: the difference between expecting others to step up to the plate and follow the rules we are abiding by and dividing the sheep from the goats, the sinners from the saints. We all have a moral compass but we easily confuse one compass with another.

Your compass might point to true north, does not prescribe but instructs. Whichever way you choose to go, the needle stays true to the magnetic line.

But it might be a prescriptive compass that has a pencil at one end going round in circles and a prick at the other.

Chris Price

Singer, musician, writer, artist and thinker struggling to make sense of our dangerously dysfunctional society but infatuated with Morecambe Bay & it’s sunsets