How quickly we forget

How quickly we forget

On Thursday morning I walked into a ‘shop’ that wasn’t a supermarket for the first time in over six weeks. It was the office of the hire car company that was providing my ride for the next month. As I walked through the door I said to the booking agent ‘Hey! I’m walking into a shop!!’ She laughed and said ‘It’s been a while!’ Both staff and customers are pleased to see things return to something like normality here in NZ.

I spent Thursday grabbing a few things from around town in preparation for finally leaving Auckland. Alert Level 3 shopping protocols include signing in when entering a store (thus enabling contact tracing if a Covid-19 case is identified), mandatory hand sanitising, social distancing, and limits on how many customers can be in a shop at one time.

Although it was novel to enter the first few shops of my post-lockdown spree, the most surprising thing was how quickly it all felt, well, normal. How soon I seemed to forget that for a month and a half I couldn’t just walk into a camping store or surf shop.

The Covid-19 restrictions obviously affected me a lot less acutely than others. For starters I didn’t lose my job, my business didn’t go broke, and I didn’t have to look after kids at home for what apparently felt like an eternity. I didn’t have to postpone a wedding or a funeral, or be unable to visit family or friends outside my ‘bubble’ (household). Regardless of this, I wonder how many people will have the same thought as me as we go about our lives post-lockdown?

There has been a fair bit of commentary in the media and broader community about whether lifestyle changes enforced by Covid-19 restrictions may be carried on voluntarily post-lockdown. Working from home, spending more time with the family, and socialising with neighbours have been recognised by many as the upside of the whole Covid-19 drama. However my gut feeling is that before too long the pre-Covid work/life balance will return. For better or worse, our lifestyles pre-Covid were shaped by needs, wants and pressures that are likely to still be there in the post-viral age.

What is more likely to remain, at least for a while, is a greater mindfulness of how illness spreads, and the basic steps we can all take to minimise it. Perhaps the flu will be claim fewer lives this winter as a result.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Day 40, Shopping at Alert Level 3

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2 thoughts on “How quickly we forget

  1. Interesting question about whether people will return to how they lived before the enforced shut down. For me, having to park the van in one place for just over eight weeks now has actually been really nice! I’d be thinking about staying put for a while and now that I’ve had no choice, I’ve quite enjoyed not having to think about ‘where to next’. I can move now, into NSW anyway, but I think I might stay put for another four weeks!

  2. Corona certainly has been a personal journey. For some there have been unexpected positives, for others it’s been a different story. Glad to hear that you are enjoying life where you are

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