This week marked a year since the official start of the UK’s lockdown, when we and whole swathes of the human population around the world were asked to stay in our homes. It would have been a totally unbelievable concept, just a few short months before – everyone, from the most famous film star to the youngest school child, staying at home to limit the virulence of an unknown sickness. But we have all been part of this historic time, and we all have tales to tell of the last 12 months – some of them happy, some tragic, some funny, and all unique to this strange time.
On Tuesday’s Day of Reflection, I looked back at my own 12 months, and made a point of thinking about the good bits – because in a world that has seen 2.75million deaths from the new disease alone – not to speak of the unseen deaths from other diseases and mental illness, and the misery it’s all brought – I don’t want to lose sight of the things that have been good. And there have been good things; these are three of mine.
Clean hands are in fashion
I’ve always been a bit weird about germs, and my time has finally come. There is hand sanitiser EVERYWHERE, and no one questions my insistence on thorough cleaning of their hands and mine after touching supermarket trolleys, benches, play park equipment – basically, any public high frequency touchpoints available to the public. (Just my family – I don’t make strangers do it, although sometimes it’s tempting.)
Holidays at Home
I love going abroad, and I’ve done it as often as possible…but that was not to be for us this year, so we are focusing our attentions, for the next few holidays at least, on the places we’ve always been meaning to visit, right here on our doorstep. Kent is done, Cornwall is booked, and we’ve got Norfolk and Suffolk in our sights; and one day, up north to the Lakes, Yorkshire and Scotland to see the family…It’s a beautiful island, and I’m really excited to be exploring it, as perhaps I should have been many years ago…
Lockdown forced even the most reluctant among us to master the art of online video communication, and my guess is that the majority of people in business – and even those that aren’t – are now fluent in at least one medium, whether it’s Teams, Zoom, Houseparty or even Messenger. OK, so we’re probably all a bit sick of ONLY being able to meet via a screen, but I think it’s great that so many people now have the confidence to consider it as another option – and being able to meet up remotely will open up so many more opportunities to maximise time, and work with others they may not have been able to before. I’m certainly looking forward to combining online networking with face-to-face when we can, and carrying out initial consultations online will save me bags of time in my limited working day.
So it has been “a year” – it really has – but I will always be grateful for the things that never would have happened without it.