OPINION: What will life be like on the other side of lockdown?
PUBLISHED: 12:32 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:23 21 April 2020
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Is anyone else spending a lot of time at the moment wondering what the other side of right now will look like?
It’s certainly occupying my thoughts, which is probably as clear a sign as any that, like everyone else, I’m just desperate for life to return to some level of normality and to see brighter days on the horizon.
And in my heart I’m holding on to the thought that ‘normal life’ (whatever that is), will return and all those things I love doing and have previously taken for granted simply resume as they were.
However, my head tells me the world which awaits us on the other side of lockdown will indeed be very different from the one we inhabit now.
We can only hope that includes positive changes and not just negative ones.
One of my greatest pleasures, for instance, is attending music gigs and festivals. But will, even once this has passed, people remain nervous of being in large gatherings? And, if so, for how long?
Will society be more worried about the potential germs other people carry, how they get passed on and therefore be less willing to be in such close proximity as others? If so, how will that affect other large gatherings such as football matches, shows and theatre productions? How will it impact how we interact in all social environments?
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These examples only cover live entertainment of course, but you can think of pretty much any aspect of day-to-day life and come up with ways in which they could be different to how they were before we’d even heard of covid-19, social distancing, furloughing and The Tiger King.
These are probably questions for another day, however, Right now the priority remains staying safe and keeping the virus in check.
That said, I predict it won’t be long before questions around if when and how it might be possible to start to return even the most minor parts of our lives to some sense of normality start to grow.
Over the next few weeks, as lockdown cabin fever starts to grow and perhaps covid-19 infection figures start to fall, more pressure will begin to be put on the powers-that-be to ease up some of the restrictions placed upon us. We must, however, remain strong and remain patient and continue to do all that we can to ensure there isn’t a second spike in infections and deaths.
But when the time does come to start reopening some of the factories, businesses and shops, I’m confident the majority of the population is now in a headspace where they understand the need to proceed with caution and keep practising social distancing, as well as be able to carry it out. A few weeks ago that probably wasn’t the case.
I take my own village of Hethersett as evidence of this. Roughly twice a week I’ll get up before 7am to nip to the corner shop for any essentials. Even by then it’s growing busy, yet every single person inside is respecting the need to walk around in a certain direction, to stay in certain zones to avoid breaking the two-metre rule and be respectful to others. I swear people are even saying ‘hello’ to each other more than they normally would.
Down the road, the village Boots has a long snake of people coming out of it, but it’s coping, people are being careful and it’s working.
Elsewhere in the village, it feels busier than ever as people make the most of their daily exercise allowance - but all of those that I have seen are doing so thoughtfully and with consideration for others. Just how we should all proceed in life at this moment in time.
This may not be how we want to live our day-to-day lives - but if we want to get to that other side - we really have no other choice.
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