There’s no denying lockdown was hard on everyone. As a species, humans aren’t known for their love of big changes so adapting to the restrictions was a challenge, especially as those changes will be affecting us for the foreseeable future. But it wasn’t all bad - there are some good habits that came out of the crisis so here’s our silver-lining post celebrating the good that arose from COVID-19...
A crisis does tend to bring people together, but we saw that on a much wider scale. Entire neighbourhoods, counties and even the country as a whole united to support and celebrate one another. From the teams of people collecting and dropping off shopping, medication and essentials to standing on our doorsteps at 8pm each Thursday evening to cheer our NHS, the underlying British spirit shone through.
ADVENTURE ON YOUR DOORSTEP
With freedom and ease of travel at our fingertips, it was easy to forget what lay just outside our doors. The restriction on travel encouraged us all to explore the immediate area we lived in - and what discoveries we made! From heathland to nature reserves to parks - we found outside spaces that we will continue to visit.
Local shops experienced a boom - especially butchers and greengrocers - as people avoided busy queues at supermarkets. We saw how essential these small, independent retailers could pivot easily to suit a change in the way we shop. Door to door deliveries, pre-ordered goods and less waiting around meant that we got high quality produce without taking risks. We need to keep using these shops because it’s them that keep Britain running.
How wonderful was it to hear the birds more? The reduction in traffic had so many benefits like a fall in pollution, fewer traffic accidents and saving on petrol. Going for a walk and enjoying the sounds of nature without the background noise of engines, sirens and car horns was a revelation!
There was a spike in national bike sales during lockdown and that can only be a good thing! Not only does it reduce the cars on the road, it is also a brilliant way to keep fit. Whole families were spending more time outside together creating positive memories from an otherwise frightening time.
HOMES AND GARDENS
The houses and gardens of Britain have never been so cared for. Lockdown and furlough gave people the opportunity to do those DIY tasks that have been hanging around for months (years, even!). Driveways were weeded, shelves were put up, walls were painted and toys were sorted. Now, all we have to do is maintain our neat and tidy homes!
Isn’t funny how, looking back, it seems nuts how little we thought about germs spreading? Although the constant hand-washing and sanitising can irritate skin, it has highlighted how easy it is to protect against all kinds of viral infections. Cleaning down shopping trolleys, seats, handrails and door handles will hopefully be around to stay a while - we’ve certainly seen less runny noses!
Five months ago I bet hardly anyone knew what Zoom was. Now you’ll be pushed to find a person who hasn’t had a device propped up in front of them while they try to figure out how to turn the audio on. There’s no doubt that Zoom has been a godsend - those isolated folk got to enjoy some face to face interaction, not to mention the increase in the nation’s intellect as we all partook in endless quizzes. Thanks to the power of Zoom, families probably spent more quality time together when they were physically apart than before - at least mine did!
THE HOME WORKING REVELATION
Working from home has been a rollercoaster. Some have found it easy to multi-task home learning and their usual workload while others (ahem...me) have found it rather more challenging. BUT, amongst the Zoom call nightmares and wild panic as your child shouts ‘ I NEED A POOOOOOOOO’ during your client call, we have seen a new way of working. Maybe we don’t need to disappear to an office each day. Maybe we can be more flexible with our hours and workload. No more rush hour traffic. No more overspending on lunches because packing on the night before is a faff. And for me, the biggest pro to come out of it - working parents have been in the spotlight. Those delightful TV interviews with Drs and reporters where their kids wander in made my day - this is the reality of modern work/life balance!
RESPECTING PEOPLE’S CHOICES
Recent events have, more often than not, lead to a lot of online controversies. The fall out from the Brexit referendum and elections left everyone feeling weary from the constant online bickering - then came lockdown beach going, Black Lives Matter protests and the great mask debate. Opinions were rife once again, and debate raged on threads and news stories. It can be disheartening, especially when you feel like you’re a lone voice in a storm, but there’s a positive here. People are engaged. They’re pursuing a cause. Whether you agree or not, there are conversations happening and in the words of Bob Dylan, ‘Time’s, they are a-changing’.