It’s late April in the UK, and things are beginning to open up, after a long lockdown. I had my first pint in a pub garden today, and it tasted wonderful. Soon I will have my first meal in a restaurant. I’m sure it will be a memorable experience.
I lost my life, as it was, just over a year ago. As I flew back from Japan in early March, there was a sense that this Covid virus was going to be quite a problem, but I had no idea just how devastating this global pandemic was going to become, nor any sense of how it would impact all of our lives.
I went from being on the road for more than 300 days a year to no travel at all. That’s quite the transition. I lost lots of work. I gained some too, but of a different kind. I know that my travel was excessive, and it had to change. But I was thinking more in terms of a gradual reduction, and a focusing on priorites. Of course, I got off lightly. Many have suffered very great losses indeed.
I have changed my routines. I am fitter and healthier now, which is a good thing. I’ve moved into my own place at last. I’ve become a more-skilled moderator and interviewer doing things online. I’m tasting a lot of wine at home. I’ve developed new routines.
Things are now beginning to open up, but part of me feels apprehension. I’m nervous about trying to reclaim the old life. While there are many wine regions I’m keen to get back to, and many wine friends around the globe I’d like to see again, I have no inclination to get back to flying right now.
I’m also a little hesitant about rushing back into a packed social calendar. I’ve enjoyed the few forays I’ve had into London, but this has been a calm, serene, locked-down London.
I’ve been talking with a few people, and some of them feel the same: it’s a sort of Stockholm syndrome. We have become attached to some aspects of this lockdown captivity. The enforced change of pace has led to simpler lives with more space. This is something I’m reluctant to give up in its entirety.
I don’t think we are heading for anything that resembles life per-March 2020 for quite some time. Covid has a way to go yet. But as things begin to open up, many people – myself included – are considering what we’d like life to look like in 6 months, in a year, in five years.