Prime Minister Boris Johnson has updated the guidance from STAY THE FUCK HOME to CONTROL THE VIRUS. Soon, you'll be skipping in your nearest park French-kissing strangers with complete abandon.
But before we look toward total freedom, let's not dismiss what we've been through. The normal 'unlockdown' may feel like the promised land but there have been some huge positives of Covid-19.
Let's take a look.
Many of us have paid closer attention to our immediate surroundings because of the travel restrictions. What was once just a random street, avenue or estate is now a community of newfound neighbours. Covid-19 has turned strangers into comrades in the fight to stay safe and stay alert. This wasn't felt more keenly than on Thursdays at 8pm when residents leant from their windows or stood outside to clap for the NHS. No doubt when movement returns to normal that communal feeling will fade but hopefully some neighbourliness will remain.
As Jim Carrey points out in Dumb and Dumber: 'Senior citizens are slow and dangerous behind the wheel'. However, in times of crisis, we set aside facts to help the vulnerable and the elderly. Volunteering websites, specific time slots at supermarkets, running errands and emergency crowdfunded donations. These are just some of the ways society has pulled together to show we really do care.
Facebook feeds are full of before and after videos of blue skies or waters. Most notably Venice's murky canals where a jellyfish was spotted swimming in the city's now crystal-clear channels. Water traffic has stopped meaning sediment has settled. The environmental benefits of planes being grounded, cars parked and factories shut down is unquestionable. However, history tells us that when emissions have fallen sharply in the past, as they do after recessions, there’s often a rocketing rebound that wipes out any short-term cut in emissions. Let's hope that's not the case.
Increase in hygiene practises
Improved hygiene will become a priority for households. Unilever’s chief executive, Alan Jope, has predicted a permanent rise in demand for soap and other cleaning supplies. In the coming months, people will want to wash their hands more and be concerned about surface hygiene in homes, said Mr Jope. 'The whole hygiene thing will carry on.'
Elina Enqvist-Twomey, of luxury home-fittings brand Grohe said: 'Feedback from the commercial market in the past three months tells us that hygiene is top of the agenda, with a large proportion of projects specifying more hygiene-focused products such as infra-red taps, infra-red flush plates, and shower toilets.' Better personal hygiene can only be a good thing.