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Since the coronavirus pandemic hit mainstream news and caused widespread panic in the early weeks of 2020, the world as we know it has been turned upside down. Governments and scientists have been working around the clock to slow the spread of the disease across borders. Businesses were forced to close their doors while the highstreets lay empty during the various lockdowns and waves. And many things we learned from the pandemic. People across the globe lost their lives, loved ones, friends, neighbours and colleagues in what will be remembered as one of the most challenging periods of modern times.
You didn’t need to be a scientist, government official or even work in healthcare to feel the effects. COVID-19 changed everything for everyone, from the average person in the street to the Queen of Great Britain. Times were tough, but the 18 months that have passed since things got real have taught us all a few valuable lessons while reminding us of a few important points we had forgotten. Not to take the simple things in life for granted, being one of them. To love your neighbour another.
People spent the lockdowns doing different things. Reconnecting with family, playing online quizzes, reading, relaxing, investing. We watched sports played behind closed doors on live television with fans gambling on the outcome of games worldwide, from the Premier League in London to sports betting Florida. For many, live sports was the only source of entertainment during lockdown despite fans being locked out of stadiums with pre-recorded crowd noise played over the action.
Stories to tell and lessons to learned from the pandemic
Many of the restrictions and rules from 2020/21 will be quickly forgotten about, with most of us happy to see the back of them. They’ll be little more than interesting points in history, a story to tell through the generations. Zoom quizzes and wine sessions over facetime will never be as popular again, the highlight of the week.
Taking the dog for a walk as often as possible just to escape the house will soon be a thing of the past, and football matches played at empty stadiums will, hopefully, never happen again. Kids will learn in schools again, rather than kitchens. They’ll play in parks, rather than looking at locked gates, and they’ll mix with friends, playing games in the street, rather than communicating only on social media.
Yes, the pandemic has been tough on us all, young and old. The restrictions and removal of freedoms were tough, but we would have learned much about responding to any future public health emergencies. It wasn’t all bad, though. We can look back at the lockdowns with a smile as they brought us closer together and enhanced the lives of many families.
Below we pick out three lockdown habits we hope will be around for a long time and become part of what is referred to as the “new normal”. The list could be much longer, of course, but these are our three favourites.
Working from home
Remember the days when your office manager would have us believe working from home was impossible. They’d fall over in shock at the very suggestion of finishing a few tasks remotely. It just wasn’t an option unless, of course, they needed a day working from home. Anyway, now we know remote working isn’t only possible, it can be beneficial to both the employer and employee, hopefully, it’ll stick around. Could working at home and booking into the office when required be the future?
You could be married for ten years with children in school but know more about your colleagues than your family. Work commitments and fatigued weekends created a vast divide in many families. Lockdown brought us all closer together, binge-watching, enjoying wine, playing board games, telling stories. Traditional family values made a welcome appearance, and we hope that stays,
Getting fit and healthy
Being stuck indoors for 24 hours a day was tough on our mental and physical well-being. Many of us chose to break up the day by getting fit. We did sweaty circuits on zoom or followed personal trainers on TV. We got out and jogged, breathing in the fresh air and benefiting from improved air quality due to fewer cars on the road. Lots of us found we actually enjoyed getting physically fit and staying fit.