Back to normal is coming soon

Back to normal aka Freedom Day is promised for the 19th of this month, when the government will lift all, or nearly all, legal restrictions to control the pandemic. The government that imposed these is making this sound like a victory. It is as if someone else had imposed them (Jeremy Corbyn?) and they had overcome some obstacle and removed them. The number of infections has dropped but is creeping up again, whilst the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths have dropped and are increasing only slowly.  Another reason is that many people are demanding to open up the economy for various reasons whilst many people are just tired of living under restrictions.

What won’t be back to normal?

The virus is still around and Government announcements won’t make it go away. It’s out there in other countries too, and ‘Nobody is safe until everybody is safe’ is a cliche but true. Many people will want to maintain safe practices like social distancing, handwashing and masks and some will avoid crowded places. People will still get the virus or be tested positive and have to self-isolate. Some will be ill, a few will die and more will get long-covid or suffer complications affecting their health long-term. They think it’s all over, but it’s not yet!

Do you want to be back to normal?

What do you long for?

  • The daily commute?
  • Traffic jams?
  • Fighting for a parking space?
  • Office politics?
  • Hot-desking?
  • Presenteeism?
  • Meetings? (Have you just got a minute?)
  • Crowded trains and buses?

I have written before about working from home.

Some dread going back to the workplace

Did your workplace tolerate:

  • Bullying?
  • Sexism?
  • Favouritism?
  • Unfunny jokes?
  • Interminable discussions about football?

What will we be going back to as a country?

Do we want go back to the pre-pandemic levels?

  • Poverty?
  • Inequality?
  • Discrimination?
  •  Poor housing?
  • Underfunded public services?
  • Talking green but doing nothing?
  • Fracking?

How did I portray going back to normal in my books?

I set most of my books in the pre-covid world, but  I set New Money in the summer of 2020 when some things were beginning to get back to normal, before the spike in that autumn. Many of my characters act irresponsibly in breaking the rules, but they were hardly acting as role models in any other way! It is set in Wales and I say why that was fortuitous in another post.

The cover of New Money, set when we thought we were getting back to normal.

The cover of New Money, set when we thought we were getting back to normal.