• Yetunde Odutolu

After a hurricane comes a Rainbow

The symbol of a rainbow took on a new meaning this year as the flagship of hope for NHS frontline workers working through the pandemic. As the year draws to an end I am reflecting on its meaning to me as a person of colour working on the frontline in 2020. To say 2020 is and was a hard year will be an understatement, the last 12 months tested the resilience of even the most robust person, personally, professionally and collectively.

This year saw us all slowing down rapidly yet finding time to enjoy the beauty of nature and colours amongst us. COVID-19 stole our ability to touch one another but also reminded us of how important other modes of communications are, it shone a light on the importance of cherishing one another. We lost our ability to meet one another but found a huge resource in technology. We feared for our lives and that of our loved ones but learnt empathy and the value of life once again.

In this new-found slow pace, we found our voice to fight for inequalities and social justice. We reminded the government what poverty really means and why children must not go hungry. We globally cried out for an end to racial injustice, our hearts remain broken for the many lives lost this year to COVID-19, illness and also those lost to police brutality all over the world. We will never forget this year, through these losses and the collective pain, arose a global awakening. The world is “woke”, a hurricane of change is rising and Paediatric Dialogue on race is a product of this hurricane.

But amidst these trials and tribulations are glimpses of hope, a ray of sunshine, that little semicircle of colour promising that even in the most dire of situations there is still colour. The colours of this year are bright and vibrant, giving us hope for the next years and for the future generation. A beam of sunshine in the election of Kamala Harris, the first Asian American, Black lady to serve in the white house. Her representation gives hope to the next generation. There is a beacon of hope in the new COVID -19 vaccine and a tide of hope is in the voice of the collective across the world, standing and speaking up for racial inequalities and fighting to eradicate childhood poverty

Thank you for engaging with us over the last few months, thanks for dialoguing with us and helping us navigate this new world. We have enjoyed all over conversations and learnt so much about one another, we feel privilege to live in such a time as this where humanity is willing to do the work needed for change. All your contributions and engagements are little lines of colours making our rainbow bigger. As we go into the new year, remember we are still learning and finding our voices. No matter how hard 2020 was for you, remember to colour that rainbow, because in the words of Katy Perry “after a hurricane comes a rainbow”. Lastly regardless of how this year finds you, remember broken crayons still colour perfectly, have a wonderful Christmas and here is hoping for more bright colours in the years to come.

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