It’s infectious

“The worst thing about disease is the uncertainty. Humans are capable of adapting to anything as long as they know. It’s the hopeless floundering that drives people crazy.”

Fever by Robin Cook

Church of England LondonQuote

Official Church of England advice Sunday 8 March 2020:

  • Suspend the administration of the chalice and offer Communion in one kind only i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine.
  • Consider suspending handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace.
  • Consider suspending direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’.


And so it began in our church and possibly in churches all around the world today …

Having been advised of the official C of E line this morning by our vicar, something rather more infectious broke out in our morning service.

In due course it came to ‘sharing in the peace’, which to those of you who are not church goers, consists of turning to your fellow Christians, shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The idea is that you make peace with your brothers and sisters before you go on to take communion.

In our early morning service we ‘do the peace‘ to everyone. Walking round the church (it’s a small service of max 30 people, often much less), we all greet everyone known and unknown, kissing cheeks, hugging and shaking hands in rather close quarters.

This morning, instead, there was an outbreak of hippy peace signs, elbow knocking, foot tapping, awkward nodding and jazz hands. Being stiff-upper-lipped-English, the awkwardness was too much, and embarrassed-laughing broke out from even the most serious of parishioners.

So infectious were the laughing and smiles, that they continued out into the church hall to the coffees and teas. Someone had brought cake, which made the smilers even happier.

On that note, I love this poem by the great Spike Milligan:

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

I too have found smiling restorative and healing at some of the most challenging times in my life. I highly recommend it.

Have a super restful, restorative Sunday, peeps. Smile while you wash those hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds!

And in this time of heightened panic, an elbow-bashing, foot-tapping, air-kissing, jazz-hands peace to you all!

P.s. Long ago I started ‘washing’ my hands with Aloe Vera alcohol hand sanitiser after ‘doing the peace’. Hubby said I was terrible for doing that, but it turns out you just never know! Hubby has, for quite some time now, done the same. Sadly I now have a rather depleted supply of my old hand sanitiser in my bag because I didn’t catch on quickly enough when people started to panic-buy.
P.p.s. I’m still out and about and living life as normal, if a little at arms length from those around me. Yesterday I went on a guided tour of Highgate Cemetery as a friend of mine is a volunteer guide there. More on that in another blog.
P.p.p.s. Hubby is in Buenos Aires at present with Congolese buyers inspecting a Belgian-owned dredger in dry dock in Argentina. Please pray that this deal goes all the way. As I’ve mentioned before, our little family business has had a hard year and has long been affected by international crises such as Brexit and now Covid-19.

7 thoughts on “It’s infectious

  1. I’m a friend of Brian Hilliard. I would like to use this piece in our church magazine. At which church did this happen? Who is Robin Cook? Thanks, David Hill, Publicity manager for Christ Church Constantia, Cape Town


    1. Hello, David, thank you for your message. Of course you may use my post for your church magazine. Happy for you to site my name and my blog address. My church is St Paul’s Church Hammersmith, London.


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