Here we go like moles out of our holes, poking our little heads back into the big bad world after lockdown. Will we be arsed doing things differently after all these passive months of hibernation? Will the world change? What will be the lasting impact of lockdown?
First here are things that I will miss from lockdown:
- Quiet roads where we didn’t have to worry about cars flying around the corner at twice the speed limit
- The wildlife – the sound of birds was mesmerising at times
- Trumps press conferences – while deeply concerning and in many obvious ways distressful to view, they were just simply hilarious and provided a bizarre form of entertainment in a silent isolated world. But very very worrying.
- Because we weren’t seeing anyone, and more importantly the kids weren’t mixing with other kids, there wasn’t even a hint of a sniffle in this house for months. Instead, we reveled in sound sleeps and clear nostrils. Super.
- Not going to the hairdressers – I actually enjoyed this one. Didn’t matter what I looked like and if there were twigs in my hair, I didn’t even have to create an excuse – everyone surmised it’s the lockdown’s fault.
And now some observations and predictions from the lockdown.
- Happier with less
This is a bit of a societal aspiration, but I’m going for it. During lock down, other than food and booze we didn’t buy much of anything. Actually, we found ourselves borrowing from neighbours, wondering what we could re-use and recycle much more than previous. And we continue to do this. That sounds fairly environmentally glorious but the truth is hubbie and I are allergic to queues so we’ll do anything to avoid waiting around growing old in one, particularly if it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, the weekend, close to the weekend or if the kids are with us.
- Family bonds are tighter
My kids’ paediatrician told us that she has seen a decided improvement in many of her patients’ conditions and she swears it’s because both parents have been around more often than before over the last few months. My kids now play together constantly, call each other best friends and then fight and fight – it’s paw patrol swords at dawn – play some more and fight some more. I just wonder if this prolonged, isolated stay at home will create a special bond between families, between people – that will provide a really positive impact on our mental health and give us back some of the closeness that screens had taken away.
- Employment moves
We’ve had a lotta lotta time to think, cogitate, meditate, mull over and decide. Coming off the back of this lockdown, people are examining what in God’s name they’re doing – and not just wholesale switches from one discipline to another, like moving from accountancy to running a nail salon. My husband never thought he’d enjoy working from home and he assumed he wouldn’t work too much when he was working from home, so he’s fairly surprised to find out that he can be relatively diligent away from the office. And he likes it. I doubt he’s alone. Ultimately companies will need to become more flexible and trust staff to work from home. That will ease work stress too and make for happier, more productive work force.
- Less car whizzing
They said no unnecessary journeys and we took it seriously. Ha! We had filled up both our cars with petrol in early March. We didn’t have to refill until early June. That cash saving was welcome and now that I’m used to not going out so much, I view a lot of those old trips as pointless or possible to delay. Who wants to get in the car and fly into town when we can chill in the garden? Life is a lot more peaceful.
- Zwine time
A friend and myself used to try meet every 4 weeks or so for an evening glass of wine which was inevitably pushed so we probably only met every 8 – 12 weeks. Lockdown propelled us to a zoom wine time (zwine time) with pyjamas or manky tracksuit our uniform. We drink vino while laughing effusively at life and then at around 10.45 one of us says “Jeepers, its way past my bedtime” while the other one chuckles and agrees. Way past our bedtimes. But it’s ok, because we’re already in pjs so we can be in bed asleep by 11. It’s the biz. We are seeing each other more often in lockdown than we did in normal life.
Almost half of people in the country exercised more during the pandemic. In Ireland, the number of adults taking part in recreational walking increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, rising by a cumulative 18% during the period, to 83%. This is the highest level ever recorded. In the UK, there has been a cycling boom resulting in the country barely able to keep itself in bikes.
Will we keep it up? Oh, wouldn’t that be fab? More exercise has got to equate to a physically fitter and stronger populace. That, in turn, has to mean less heart attacks, strokes, diabetes etc in the future. And man, would that be a great relief on our healthcare workers in the future, wouldn’t it? Those guys have been put through enough, they deserve to see a happy outcome in the times far ahead.