With some countries across the world starting to loosen their lockdown restrictions, I’ve been starting to think about what life might be like post pandemic.
Has this lockdown really gone on for long enough for people to make permanent changes to their everyday lives?
How easy will it be for us to just slip back into ‘normal’ life?
The thought of going back to how things used to be, terrifies me. Not to the point where I’m having sleepless nights or anything, but enough to make my heart beat a little faster.
Will life go back to being as faced paced as it once was?
Will we have less work life balance again?
Will we forget to check in on our neighbours, our friends, our families?
Will we forget the wonders of technology, and go back to face to face meetings, and ‘normal’ office life?
Are we ready to go back to congested roads, or being wedged up against each other with little room to breathe on the overly hot, stuffy, crowded underground network??
Are we ready for the long commutes to work, with less time to do the things we enjoy in the evenings, with less energy to exercise and less time to cook nice, healthy meals?
Are we ready for less time with our loved ones?
I miss the freedom of being able to walk freely in this beautiful city I now call home.
I miss visiting our amazing tourist attractions, here in London, as well as in other cities around the world. I miss sandy beaches, whether abroad, or closer to home. I miss going to the cinema and eating out. I miss watching people.
Yet, I love the peace covid has brought to the city. I love that the normally busy road outside my flat, is now quiet in the evening.
I love that I hear fewer drunk people stumbling around outside in the early hours of the morning, or the drug addicts and dealers going about their business in the alley next to my flat.
I love that I can hear stillness over the city. The city, for once, goes to bed when I do.
I love that I can taste and breath cleaner air. I love that I can hear the birds sing, and I can actually smell the spring.
And as much as I miss travelling, I love the clear blue skies that are becoming far too familiar over this great city, with hardly a plane or cloud in the sky.
I love that I have work life balance for the first time in my adult life. I love that I have time in the evenings to exercise, to eat properly, and to spend time maximising my self care, or simply sitting in front of the tv watching another series on iplayer I wouldn’t normally get to see due to work commitments.
I love the fact I am able to check in with friends and family more often. And not just a fleeting text here or there. A conversation. Time to read their answers properly and to ask questions. To find out how they really are.
Yes, like the next person, I fear for our economy, for friends and family who may lose their jobs. I worry about the impacts this will have on our great calender of sporting fixtures, concerts, festivals and carnivals.
The positive environmental impacts Covid is having on our country, Europe, and the rest of the world, cannot be ignored.
And let’s not forget the impacts on people’s mental health. This pandemic has been tough for so many people. Isolated, anxious, and fearful of going out. And sadly for many, fearful of staying in. Yet, how will our meantal health be impacted when life gets busy again? When our streets are crowded, and we can smell the pollution hanging in the air? When terrorism once again becomes a serious threat?
We simply cannot allow life to go back to the way it was. This is the greatest opportunity we may ever get to change the world we live in. Forget individual challenges. Now may not be the time to start that new hobby, or look for that new job, or to get super fit.
But this is the time to collectively pull together, to make sure we don’t slip back into bad habits.
This has to be our time for change.