I have read a lot of articles recently about how things will change after all of our lockdowns are over. There has been everything from how we should carry on not using our cars and taking flights, through to millions of people (apparently) growing their own food and becoming self-sufficient from their tiny gardens or windowsills.
The people writing those articles appear to have more faith in humanity than me.
I fully expect there to be some changes after all this – there were changes to society after the flu pandemic in 1918 after all, womens roles in the work force changed forever due to economic pressures and labour shortages – I think getting on a plane will involve temperature checks for quite some time to come for example, but we will soon get used to the new normal…because I don’t think it will be too different from the old normal.
We are going to be told that everything is fine. We are going to be told that spending money on the economy is our civic duty…go ahead, carry on buying that fast fashion and fast food, you know you wanna. If you want to feel better then you’d better get back to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible…here’s your venti vanilla latte, £3.75 please.
But rates of anxiety, stress and depression have been rising year on year…the old normal failed us.
I believe that our society will bounce back, pretty much the same as before, but I wish it wouldn’t. I wish it would ricochet wildly off in the direction of universal income and free education and health care for all. I wish we could all make the conscious decision to remember who really supported us during this Pause. Was it a rich CEOs or the supermarket checkout person on minimum wage? Was it a politician or a hospital cleaner? Was it the bloke driving the mercedes or the person driving the delivery van?
My opinion of humanity (myself included) has always been fairly low, so I don’t really expect that to change because of anything that happens after the lockdowns end, but I also know that the only person I can really convince of anything is me…and that’s the same for all of us. Only we have the power to change what’s in our heads.
So I am trying to spend some of this weird and wonderful period in our collective history thinking about how I can make some of the changes I would like to see, what I need to do in order to live closer to my ideals.
I am also growing cress on the windowsill…..FREE SALAD ANY DAY NOW!!!