In these unprecedented times we live in a strange unreality. Everything has slowed down. People are polite and friendly but we assiduously keep our distance. The streets are quiet. You can cross the road without a car in sight. There are only joggers, cyclists and dog walkers around. Everybody is indoors. The shops are shut. Only food stores are open. Only essential workers are at work. We have our newspaper delivered. We have our food delivered. We ring friends, put up posts on facebook and wordpress about the inanities of Trump and incompetence of Johnson and the Tories. The death toll mounts while we look across at those countries who have got it right – the New Zealands of this world. They are coming out of lockdown. Their economy is getting back to normal.
For us there is no end in sight. The virus is still prevalent in society. It has ravaged our abandoned care homes and exacted a huge toll on the elderly. We have no exit strategy.
But one day, if we continue to lockdown and social distance, the disease will be controllable. We might have enough testing. We might have enough follow-up. We might be able to contain it.
Then we can emerge from our cocoons into the new world. We can get back to normal. But what will this normal look like?
Will we simply go back to the hectic pace of before? Will nature once again be shunted into the sidelines? Will we still churn out the pollution? Go on breeding? Give our money to the wealthy? Still have winners and losers? Look down on the low paid? Value the bankers and entrepreneurs?
Will all the shops open or will many shops and businesses have crumbled away?
Will people have jobs?
Will the economy pick up?
Will there be international travel?
Will we have a generation of austerity for the poor? Or will the wealthy have to start paying their share?
We’ve all seen what can be done when we have to!
What will the new reality look like?
Or will we start thinking about this rat-race? Will we value nature more? Value our nurses, carers, garbage emptiers, cleaners and shelf stackers?
Will we want a fairer society?
Or will we simply allow the wealthy elite to re-establish control and seize the wealth for themselves?
What will this new normality look like??