Guest Blog; Written by Olivia Murphy (@Livnifty)
With the U.K. easing its way back to normality (fingers crossed), I felt it topical to talk about how crazy this period has been. We’re always talking about things we can’t wait to leave in lockdown, but what about the things we should probably (definitely) take back to normality with us?
1. Huge respect for key workers
We didn’t need a pandemic to remind us how incredible our NHS is – I could honestly write an essay on how these superheroes deserve the world and more. However, today, I’d like to raise a glass to those society have often overlooked, the likes of supermarket staff, delivery drivers, factory workers and bus drivers. It was only a month prior to the pandemic, these professions were described as “unskilled” by Home Secretary Priti Patel in her post-Brexit Immigration Bill, designed to keep immigrants from low socioeconomic backgrounds out of the United Kingdom.
It’s taken a global pandemic to put things into perspective and force us to truly appreciate the workers who have kept the cogs turning throughout this pantomime of a year. I truly hope this is the start of a shift in cultural attitudes towards those working in lower paid roles.
2. Flexible Living
Working from home is definitely a marmite situation however, love it or hate it, we can all agree it’s opened our eyes to how exclusive most places have been when accommodating the able bodied. The disabled community have been begging for inclusivity long before the pandemic and have had to miss out on opportunities often taken for granted by their able-bodied peers. However, since lockdown began and we’ve had to follow stay at home measures, suddenly the world is accessible from the comfort of your own home. Virtual tours, online schooling and GP phone calls are only a select few of the everyday tasks which have been modified in line with lockdown restrictions.
Only now that the majority of the population experience these barriers, have these issues been resolved. Hopefully, the development in inclusivity continues long after the end of COVID and we see disabled bodies as vital to our society, not an inconvenience.
3. Giving people space (literally)
Who let us believe we were supposed to be crammed onto packed buses and trains as part of our daily routine? That having strangers grope you as they squeeze past you in bars and nightclubs was annoying but accepted? Aside from the heartbreak of not being able to hug your loved ones, I’ve quite enjoyed not feeling like a helpless sardine tightly packed into the tin of life! I’ve never felt comfortable being touched by strangers, no matter how innocent or accidental the encounter may be and I welcome the continuity of keeping *some* distance from strangers.
4. Giving people space (figuratively)
Introverts of the world have had a blast! Sometimes you need some alone time to recharge your batteries and that’s something this year has provided us in spades! The world churned to a halt overnight and left many of us lost, anxious and quite frankly, empty. For others, this break from the real world and time to ourselves was exactly what we needed. We live in a capitalist society with neoliberal ideologies; meaning our lives are hectic, over competitive and over stimulating. COVID has changed that. Even though I hope our society returns to normality as soon as possible, I think it’s important to take the lessons we’ve learned into the future with us. Let’s give ourselves, and others, a break. You’re doing amazing sweetie!
5. Improved hygiene
Can you BELIEVE some of the things we used to do before COVID??? Kissing strangers on nights out? Eating with our hands straight after touching a load of public surfaces? Coming into work sick as a chip? I’m gunna’ say it. We were gross! My mam once got stopped going through airport security because she forgot about the extra three hand sanitisers she had in her bag. She already had another three out on the conveyor belt. She’d wipe down any surface we were about to eat on before sitting down. People thought she was crazy. Now that’s the norm!
I’m not saying I want us to go about the rest of our lives in hazmat suits with disinfectant at the ready, but I hope we’re at least more aware of our hygiene. The Prime Minister has more important things to do than tell an entire nation of adults to wash their hands. At least I hope he does!
In her own word, “Olivia Murphy is a Leeds based Media graduate with a passion for marketing. If she’s not snuggling with her dog watching endless eps of Always Sunny In Philadelphia, she’ll be busy creating digital content or crafting her latest passion project. Liv runs a lifestyle blog to help her develop her social media marketing skills and gain more insight into her favourite industry.”
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