Six months in and the UK is still a country feeling its way in the dark. The clarity on how to behave when a deadly respiratory virus attacks humankind with such veracity is still a topic of much debate. From the halls of Westminster to the corridors of local primary schools everyone has an opinion and these opinions vary largely depending on one’s own social and economic perspective, as well as one’s appetite for risk. Just what we do next is up for debate, what we can reflect on however is the impact the virus has had on us over the last six months. Granted being locked in, not being able to travel, economic disaster and a lack of live sport has been tough. It’s been a horrendous time there is no doubt about that and as a society we will be delighted to return to some kind of normality and see the back of the virus, but will we miss anything at all about the way we were forced to live 2020? Text in your answers to……...
Ill assume for the purposes of this Editorial that the SMS answers are in and the following have been some of the more enjoyable moments shared during a global pandemic.
For those able to work from home, being able to side step the M25 and its hideous traffic has been refreshing, being stuck on one of the worlds largest motorways day in and day out as emails texts and calls assault your phone can prove tiresome and being able to stumble out of bed put your collared shirt over your sleep shorts and attend the Monday meeting has been liberating, no need to even brush teeth! The commute does not just impact those in their cars and on the motorways but being able to avoid the rammed in jammed in feeling of the suffocating tube at rush hour has got to be one of the more satisfying pandemic side effects. Finish work, close laptop, stroll to sofa!
Clear skies, clean air and a fresh perspective on what is important. Over the last six months the number of people taking a walk has grown exponentially, we have really appreciated not just the world around us but at a micro level, the bubble in which we live. Closing the front door and strolling down the street has taken on new importance and new relevance but of greater value is the cleanliness of the air around us and the really obvious lack of pollution litter and waste. The irony of this is not missed by the author, who is abundantly aware that that within the clean air, clear skies and pure environment lurks a deadly virus!
Sadly, the pandemic has taken its toll on many people’s ability to earn, but similarly it had an adverse impact on our ability to spend. Online shopping aside there seems to a consensus that we have been able to save whatever money we do have or are able to earn. Whether it’s on train fair, petrol, pubs, eating out or shopping on the high street, the opportunities to spend what money we do have has been severely reduced. The lack of holiday opportunity or overseas travel and the inability stroll the local mall has meant those who can have been able to get through 2020 spending less. We are not traditionally a nation of savers but Covid-19 is having a number of consequences on our hand to mouth existence.
Much has been made of the fact that families have been separated by the pandemic, but similarly its impossible to ignore the fact that families have also been brought together with an intensity that perhaps has not been encountered for some time. Thrown together and being forced to connect with a family unit locked down has been unusual, parents spending extended periods of time with their children, whether at leisure or home schooling has meant that communication has hurdled the SMS, Insta, Snap chat universe and settled into more conventional conversation and value sharing. Having family units at home together for lengthy periods once the pandemic is deleted will never reach the same levels and should be appreciated as an upside by product of the lock down.
Yes, the sooner this virus disappears the better, the quicker we can resume life as we knew it the happier we will be, but let’s not lose sight of how we have changed for the better as a consequence of the disease and what we have enjoyed as part of living through a global pandemic.