I have just been reading Matthew Paris’ column in The Times this morning (Let’s just hope the scientists were wrong). He got me wondering if we are all just relaxing a little too much (to a greater or lesser extent). To be fair for most of the lock down I have been in my house or in my workplace. I worked out the furthest I have been away from my house has been about 1/2 a mile form my house on a walk last week.
The feeling I am getting though is that everything seems a little more relaxed with parties happening down our street (with apparently 30 people in attendance), youngsters meeting up with their friends. In fact on my walk the other day I saw a group of mine clearly pining for the pub all sat in the beer garden of our local drinking (soft drinks) and remembering times gone by.
Not so long ago all of these activities would be perfectly normal, now this are considered socially unacceptable. This in-spite of most of us being guilty of some transgression in the social distancing rules, whether that is chatting with another family in the street, or standing too close to people in the supermarket. Lets be honest all of us have passed judgement whilst at the same time not being perfect ourselves.
To be fair this was expected and we still on the whole kept transmission low. What I am wondering though is as the rules are relaxed more ,the weather continues to be this glorious, and the trust in our officials is being eroded either by the actions of the media or the actions of the officials (depending on your point of view), these transgressions will be more pronounced. So these transgressions alongside shops and schools being open could well start to seed more infections.
So lets hope this track and trace is up to scratch and is able to keep any outbreaks under control. The media suggest otherwise, however people can do extraordinary things when under pressure, so I will not be surprised if we have a system that is highly effective very soon. No doubt there will be some issues for the next week.
I hope all of this will be enough to keep us all safe, I am fearful though that all we will do is create a very long and unpleasant epidemic, with perhaps not the high numbers of daily deaths, but a long lingering tail with spikes of infections, which will be in the long run more universally damaging than the first peak that appears to be coming to an end.
I suppose we will not see the full impact of this pandemic until it is long over.
To try to end on a positive note, this means that we need to start to consider how our lives are going to look over the next year or two. What will work look like? If you own a business do you need to start considering how it will operate if at all in the future, and what could you do differently that answers your purpose? How will we socialise? What will education look like? What will family life be like? How will people meet each other and form relationships? If we want to flourish in the new normal we will have to shape what that normal will be.
Stay safe and enjoy the lovely weather.