On one hand, the lockdown has meant enforced self-isolation, grandparents not being able to see their grandkids, people being cooped up in often tiny flats, and a generation of homeschooled kids.
On the other hand though, we’ll never see these extraordinary times again. Less movement means less pollution. There’s reports of dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice, stars being visible again. We’re spending a lot more time with our immediate families and wistfully pining after simple pleasures that we took for granted, such as going for walks when we wanted, going to the pub for a pint, going to the cinema to watch a movie, going to the shops to buy food whenever we wanted.
What’s really important?
Going out and enjoying nature. We’ve got great parks on our doorstep but we never go. We’ve got Richmond Park, Bushey Park, Hampton Court, Box Hill, Epsom Common, Wimbledon Common, and in normal times, we hardly ever go. We’ve got to change that once this is all back to normal.
Ticking off that bucket list. It’s so easy to forget about this once we back to the 9 to 5, the annual two-week holiday, life with kids etc. But we all know what’s on that bucket list, whether it’s climbing Mont Blanc, going on the Trans Siberian Railway, seeing the Pyramids. We don’t know when our number is up. We’ve just heard sadly that one of my sister’s friends, her aunt, died from Covid 19. Life is short. We don’t see black swans like a pandemic coming. Who’s to say that there won’t be a worse one in ten years time?
Family and friends above all. Not being able to see family and friends in the flesh has been strange. After all this is done, will we say “let’s catch up next week?” or will we say “let’s catch up today?”
Having a garden. Like many people in London, we’re in a flat. We’re lucky enough to have a balcony which is getting lots of morning sunshine. Now though, I’d love a garden. Having a respite in a beautiful home garden must be wonderful. Imagine cool shrubs, vibrantly coloured flowers, lush green lawns, fruit trees like apples and plums, maybe even a fig tree, a vegetable patch, fragrant herbs such as thyme and rosemary, and a dedicated space for BBQs and entertaining.
Good health. Being fit and healthy has given a good base with which to fight the coronavirus. A good strong immune system and having no underlying health problems is a boon. Eat well, take some good regular exercise, don’t smoke or drink too much.
Genuinely appreciating the little things. There was a wonderful piece on the BBC about an honour guard that NHS staff gave to a Leicestershire man called Hylton Murray-Philipson when he was discharged from hospital after being in intensive care with COVID-19. His gratitude at being alive was infectious to watch. He loved hearing the ‘birds twittering’, the daffodils in full bloom, the blueness of the sky, and he had a craving for simple marmalade on toast. Check out the story and video here.