Beautiful words from a 747 pilot as we grapple with COVID-19

April 25, 2020

Beautiful words from 747 pilot, Christiann van Heijst, as we grapple with COVID-19.

Here are Christiaan’s thoughts from 40,000ft……

“Lockdowns, isolation and security measures across the world for over a month now. Global society came to a total standstill after the uncontrolled outbreak of this strange and new virus.

“Deserted streets, empty airspaces, entire populations locked in their homes and a gigantic economic crash that leaves us with more questions than answers.

“Flying as a long-range cargo pilot I appreciate my flights even more than before as passenger flights have been grounded overnight. Entire fleets parked indefinitely, tens of thousands of airline employees discharged or furloughed.

“And yet here I am skimming through the stratosphere, one of the very few and fortunate ones to keep on flying. Armed with masks, gloves and disinfectant gels we continue to provide medical supplies, food, toilet paper and other essential goods by airbridge across oceans and continents.

Christiaan van Heijst

“The clouds, the calming blue ocean, the glow of Earth’s atmosphere slowly blending into the infinite void of space. Well, technically space is not looking entirely empty this time: the moon rises on schedule. As she did undisturbed for billions of years and will continue to do so for many more.

“In a way, it is reassuring to see that the universe really keeps ongoing, with or without lockdown and virus: clouds form, grow and dissipate. Meteors trail across the stars and aurora dances vividly in the midnight sky.

No matter how bleak or depressing life may seem to many of us right now, try to keep in mind that we will get through all of this eventually. Just like the moon evolves through her phases and hides again in shadows, only to start her silent show of light and darkness all over again.

“Hold on and keep strong. We’re in it together (with some distance please) and perhaps we’ll gain an unprecedented sense of harmony and a much-needed sense of actual vulnerability instead of the vague gloom we have been hearing for so long.

“Have a nice weekend and stay safe!

“And if you can’t sleep at night; open the curtains and look up to those twinkling stars. You might even see a solitary silver bird up there, glimmering by the spell of moonlight.

Christiaan is one of the world’s leading aviation photographers and more of his work and more close encounter (s) can be found here.

You can follow Christiaan on Instagram here: @jpcvanheijst