Virus & Post Virus Jersey, A Cry From the Heart

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

I believe that to create change we, as individuals, need to be the change. My aspiration is that our actions will inspire others, ultimately creating a tipping point where our combined actions result in a global community that respects our fiduciary duty to look after and nurture planet earth. For me, COVID-19 is the perfect storm that kick starts tangible change through waking up the electorate.

It seems, to me, however that much of the community may be sitting paralysed in fear, conscious or unconscious. In fear, we cannot access our self-nurturing ability, we remain stuck in fight/flight mode that makes us more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.

Good Leaders hold a vision for the future, look at all the available data, listen to their hearts, communicate and act (even in the face of adversity). This was presumably how we arrived at lock down. It’s for the Government of Jersey (GoJ) to provide the leadership required to determine how and when to end lock down. If you look at “the curve” below it seems the virus has not spread as anticipated (see the solid blue and red line actuals compared with the predicted dashed beige curve). Does this mean we locked down too soon? What model does the GoJ use to change this? Lock down was not meant to eradicate COVID-19, it was meant to reduce the demand on our critical care beds and to protect the most vulnerable in our community. It was meant to support developing immunity and allowing the virus to pass through our community in a controlled way. Maybe it’s too early to tell from the data, maybe insufficient COVID-19 tests have been done, and maybe the GoJ are going to have to deviate from UK Coronavirus Policy and “feel” their way through the achievement of virus transmission.

Good leadership has a plan and engenders nurture in the community rather than fear.

Is it fight/flight mode that has led to building a £14.4m Nightingale hospital when Jersey General Hospital (JGH) has over 100 beds empty and new cases look to be falling? Or are we preparing for waves of moving in and out of lock down, where we invite the strongest members of our community to get infected whilst we protect the most vulnerable of our community and wait for a vaccine? These are very difficult times, making communication and connection essential. So far leadership has been perceived as poor.

So, back to nurture, I’ve been thinking about how to look after one’s basic human needs - Maslow. If we in Jersey reflect the UK economy, and if they are to lose over third of UK business, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak advised through the OBR warning of a 35% fall in GDP in the second quarter of 2020, should we focus on finding new work in our community? Money may be in short supply and we may need to look after our basic human needs – food and safety. I’ve been thinking about food supply, land management and small cooperative growing schemes.

As we move out of lock down, I am suggesting that we need a new, regenerative economic model, and I am seeing heartening news of European countries testing out such models. For example The Netherlands are looking at how they can apply Oxford University economist Kate Raworth’s doughnut economics. This model cites 9 planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive. Monitoring these indicators prevents catastrophic tipping points. At least 4 of these boundaries have been breached to date, identified in red below, and may offer an explanation for our current crisis:

1. Climate Change

2. Freshwater use

3. Nitrogen & Phosphorous cycles

4. Ocean acidification

5. Chemical pollution

6. Atmospheric aerosol loading

7. Ozone depletion

8. Biodiversity loss

9. Land use change

There is a clear link between economic growth (that has occurred) and depletion of the environment. Before economic activity is recommenced, the Government of Jersey must consider new economic models now which support the environment and therefore our Island community. If our leaders are looking for something “ready to go”, they could look to the European Green Deal which has been welcomed by Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and France as a framework for economic recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

I am calling for our leaders to set a new economic vision for our community now, one which supports individuals to hold nurture rather than fear in the heart of everything that they do. An economic policy that considers careful investment in new and sustainable initiatives that regenerate the economy whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the Island. The Grouville Climate Emergency Report has made recommendations for the GoJ to consider policy supporting such behavioural changes linking well with the European Green Deal and engaging the community with their fiduciary duty to look after the earth.

Sarah Howard, is a qualified Psychosynthesis Leadership Coach with unique skillsets applied at the highest levels in both Public and Private sector organisations. What differentiates Sarah is that she is also skilled in the softer, more fluid aspects of transformation and has been working personally and professionally with Psychosynthesis over the past 10 years. Sarah is an Evolutionary Leader, one of less than 1% of the globes population of leaders, (Frederick Laloux, Reinventing Organisations). Sarah applies her unique skill set to support others make the transition into evolutionary leadership so that they can bring the whole of themselves into everything that they do. In this way Sarah contributes to the much needed evolution of humanity.

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