It’s safe to say that globally we have all been heavily impacted by Covid 19 in the last 18 months. You have either had the illness yourself, know someone close to you who has suffered from it (maybe even died) or have merely been affected by aspects such as lockdowns and job loss. All in all, it’s been a heavy time for everyone. As life starts to make its way back to normality, it’s getting a little easier to find a silver lining and get back to things we appreciated before the great pandemic. If nothing else, the whole ordeal has definitely increased many people’s gratitude and time for the little, and perhaps finer things post-Covid life has to offer.
We’ve all spent weeks on end in our trackies and basketball hoodies, often simply showering and putting on a fresh pair of Pj’s. Gone are the days with hours spent every day doing hair and make-up or picking out a perfect outfit – this is reserved for our visits to the supermarket as it’s the only time we’re in public. Lockdown has seen online shopping become a top hobby as everyone’s wardrobes have been filled with clothes, shoes and accessories with nowhere to debut them. But that’s all about to change. With things opening up and places other than the supermarket to visit we’ll be able to get back into the habit of making that effort again – a thought both welcomed and dreaded in equal measures by many. We might not be all that keen to give up the comfort that a life spent at home has allowed us to live, but all in all, everyone is at least a little excited and appreciative to have people and places to make a bit of effort for. Not to mention the opportunity to show off our lockdown spoils.
In an age of streaming and downloading we’ve never missed the cinema and theatre quite so much. The smell of popcorn calls our names. While the road to these things opening up is still a little rocky, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel – particularly people who work within the industry. Having these entertainment options closed for so long has really given us the chance to appreciate what we had in them. This is also fuelled by the slight reset in our attitudes towards the urgency with which we want to do things. For instance, pre-Covid 19 we were more likely to put things off to a later date when they might be more convenient or because we were a bit tired from our week at work or school, but now it is more likely we will buy that ticket or make that booking as we’re just pleased to have a reason to get out of our houses and join the land of the living. Not to mention, bonus, this is another opportunity to make the most of the opportunity to dress up in a way we have sorely missed.
Missing the arts definitely doesn’t stop at movies and theatres! We can’t forget other forms of art services from large galleries to the humble busker. All swept under the Covid rug in the interest of health, but many have found the reprieve more difficult than they may have anticipated. More examples of entertainment options that are often put off or missed out on due to a feeling of endless time and plenty of opportunities – we have now begun to appreciate the finer aspects and appreciate the abundance of access we have to the arts in our country. It isn’t just the consumers of this art that have been suffering, if anything the makers have been suffering even more. With the income they may have relied on to make ends meet cut off for so many individual artists, the promise of the return of normality is a beacon on the horizon. With plenty of time to manifest the creations they have likely had to increase the space for their art storage, but this will have left them perfectly ready to shock, amaze and excite us with their creations just as soon as they are given the chance.
It isn’t just the finer things in a material sense that we have missed. This time in isolation has definitely given many the occasion to reassess just what really matters to them after all. They may be finding that having a better job or a bigger house and car isn’t all that important after all. A shift in focus can be seen in reconnecting with friends and family. Valuing the existing people in our lives and moving away from the constant chase for something new and exciting. The opening of simple pleasures like sports clubs and pubs have people itching to get back to real life and spend some quality time with old friends. The disruption in small communities from having their regional sports on hold is immeasurable as for so many it is their connection and social highlights of the week. It is reasonable to assume there would have been an increase in purchases of pub style equipment like dartboards and accessories but none of these are quite the same in your own at home as they are with mates at the pub. We have revamped the old-style picnics in parks and hopefully, that simple tradition will be equally as popular in future as it has presented the perfect opportunity for us to get a bit more outdoor, wholesome time with family and friends.
The shift in attitudes to many of the lifestyle pleasures that were previously accessed with ease is one of the better things to come from this awful experience. Getting back to nature, gardening and quality over quantity are re-found joys that hopefully stick around well past the return to normality. In a world ruled by material and driven by what we can gain, many hope that this unpleasant time spent alone with our thoughts is exactly what our society needed to really gain some perspective, some gratitude and some inspiration for the future.