What Will Be The New Normal?
I know it may seem a while off, but in a few months time, when we are back at work, in pubs, commuting and well... back to reality, will things have changed?
No, I'm not talking about how many times we wash our hands a day, or queueing for supermarkets (which I've really noticed a slow in recently, hopefully that will be soon). I'm talking about society on the whole, and our attitudes to things (sorry couldn't think of a better word)(that sounded like an AN from My Immortal lol)
Whilst listening to my favourite podcast, The High/Low this week, Pandora (up there with my favourite baby names) made a very good point; they were very careful to word it, but there is a school of thinking which is essentially as humans, we needed something (not necessarily a virus which has caused the deaths of thousands of people, but something) to stop us en masse and make us think. Think about what? Think about everything in our lives. How much time we spend on things we love, versus things we must, versus things we abhor. How do we spend our lives? How do we devote our time? To something noble and heroic? Or something that pays the bills? Do we see our friends enough? Our parents? Do we follow our secret dreams and passions or safety?
It's also important that I mention that I believe it's stopped the human race and made us think as a collective about the environment; just seeing the smog clear over a lot of cities and the waters of Venice become practically translucent has made us consider our impact on the world we live in, and how we live in it. I would like to think that seeing what happens when we take a pause on our everyday lives together, the sheer amount of change it can create, even in a few short weeks, and hope this inspires everyone, from civilians to people high up in various governments in the world, to consider the Earth in the new world and how we live, and to be grateful that it is here too.
On an individual level, I would like to think that people change not only their pace of life, but the way they live it. It would be lovely to see communities coming together, cherishing the shared space and home we make together. To see people taking time out of their lives to spend time more with friends and family, and putting them first. To see people change their jobs and careers, after realising that life really is too short and it's time to pursue their dreams. To see people take life a bit slower than before, walking places instead of driving, enjoying nature and just being outside. Feeling the Sun on your skin, or the wind blow your hair and realise just how lucky you are to be feeling it. Not taking anything for granted. From drinking a cold pint of beer, to swimming in Hampstead Ladies Pond, to going round charity shops to feeling exhausted after a productive and mentally enriching day at a job you enjoy, I will not be taking anything for granted anymore.
I believe it will make people appreciate the small things more so than ever- yes on a grand scale the Earth and nature, but on a smaller scale what it's like to go places, to be able to have choice in where to eat dinner, what to cook, what to wear, and to be comparatively worry-free.
I think, that by looking optimistically at the future in this way, it will enrich people's living now, of thinking of a happier time, where people say hi to each other on the street, pleases and thank yous and we all realise how nice it is to do so, and enjoy each other's (and the world's) company.
What do you think will happen in the future? Do you think this virus will re-shape people's lives? Do you think we will go back to normal like nothing happened?