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These past few weeks have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. Everyone is worried about their health, and not just their own, their friends and family’s too. And, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the economy to factor in as well. We’ve been threatened with a 2008 style recession (but worse) and I honestly can’t even deal if the term “credit crunch” makes a comeback. But I think one thing we can all agree on is that there’s been a real sense of union and community, and I am loving it. 

Look at the situation compared to what generations before us had to do; like actually go to war. They had to go months, if not years, without seeing or hearing from their loved ones. Most of us have it easy by comparison. All we’re being asked to do is stay at home, video call our loved ones, and binge watch telly. When I look at the situation in that perspective, it makes me feel peaceful. I can stay home, stay safe and this will pass. I can be a hero just by having virtual drinks with friends instead of going to their houses. 

There’s good with every bad. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs after all. So I have collated some positive things I think we should keep post-COVID. And listed some we can put straight in the bin.   

Actively looking for ways to help people. The Facebook groups, the little notes to neighbours, the volunteering as NHS support. I have friends who have been getting shopping for vulnerable people in their neighbourhood and my sister has volunteered to answer phone calls for the NHS. It’s brilliant to see everyone chiming in and doing what they can to help people stay safe. Wouldn’t it be great if this continued! There are masses of vulnerable people in the UK who have needed an extra hand before all this mess. Hopefully we can keep the current mindset of actively looking to see how you can use your extra time or money to help those less fortunate. 

Telling people to “stay safe”. We all love that “text me when you home” kind of friend. And these past weeks we’ve all become that friend. Although we’re all in different households we’re still a team and a team needs every player fit and healthy. Going to the shops? Stay safe! Walk in the park? Stay safe! Sitting on your sofa watching Tiger King? Stay safe! Maybe this was the push we needed to really appreciate our loved ones? And weirdly reminding them to take their anti-bac to Asda is the new “I love you”. 

Not using the car when it’s not necessary. Now that we’re only allowed out for exercise it’s funny how far you’re willing to walk to avoid going back to the house. Remember this when you take the car on that 5 minute journey post-lockdown. The O-zone layer is healing, the wildlife has returned to the streets in Japan and the Venice canals are running clear for the first time in years. We’re all hating it but the planet is loving it. Climate change was getting out of control and people weren’t listening, thinking they couldn’t make a difference but maybe now everyone will see that we are capable of working as one, and defeating threats if we make a little sacrifice. 

Video calling instead of calling. It’s just a nicer way to communicate! Seeing your family and friends signature mannerisms and smiles is better than just hearing their voice.

Washing your hands. And being mindful than when you sneeze or cough you’re spreading all kinds of germs (you detty pig). Let’s be honest it was shocking how many people were unaware of this. 

Gratitude for the NHS and key workers. The rainbow paintings in windows and 8pm Thursday clapping is enough to bring a tear to a glass eye. The NHS is the backbone of this country and has been since long before the COVID outbreak. We should have always been singing their praises but what matters is we’re doing it now and we keep it doing it beyond, remember who was there for us. The people who go out and risk infection when the rest of us just have to stay in our cosy houses. The people who looked after sick patients and the people who kept the food supplies for us. Heroes. I hope we never forget and I hope the key workers know how grateful we all are. All we can do is keep clapping, cheering and saying “thank you”, now and forever. 

Also just a quick mention for- 

Random online concerts, exercise classes, celebrities giving back, strangers not invading your personal space, family whatsapp chats, reading books, being aware of screen time, extra attention to house plants, new recipes and the vast array of things people have taken up to entertain themselves that just took that little extra motivation.  

Things I believe we can leave in quarantine – 

Daily quizzes, the word “unprecedented”, queing for the supermarket, dining room table “home offices”, any conversation about toilet roll, having more time to contemplate looking up your ex on social media, not having a good reason to end a phone call you’re bored with because you don’t have any excuse that would seem valid, being sickeningly jealous of people with gardens, not being able to go out for dinner so having to do all you dishes for every meal every day, being a bit scared of the postman, spending all day trying to get a shopping delivery slot, being invited to an online group workout ten times a day. 

And finally, special mention to couples in the park walking hand-in-hand right in the middle of the path. It’s impossible for anyone to get round you safely.

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