Lifting of lockdowns: navigating a return to pre-iso life
The first half of 2020 has been a sh*t-storm of fairly monumental proportions. The kind usually reserved for bathrooms following Indian street food feasts.
But to those who have weathered the COVID-storm and emerged on the other side, clearer skies are on the horizon. Our iso-diet has worked. The curve has become less curvaceous. Restrictions are being relaxed. The light at the end of the lockdown tunnel is aglow.
As anticipated, many are champing at the bit to race out for that long-awaited haircut… er, I mean family reunion. Particularly those who have been trapped in tiny apartments with housemates of whom they’re not enormously fond.
But not everyone is super keen for a return to regular ‘pre-iso’ life.
Sure — at the start it was scary. But once we all worked out the optional background for our video calls and got our hands on the required rolls of toilet paper, things started to settle down. And as lockdown life became the new normal, many of us started… well… kind of liking it.
Introverts around the world rejoiced; finally free to spend long, luxurious weekends legitimately avoiding hordes of other humans. Extroverts, while less predisposed to thrive in such situations, enjoyed not needing to waste time commuting between their innumerable Zooms and House Parties; allowing extra time to squeeze in even more socialising with even more people.
Many replaced their pre-pandemic activities with more meaningful alternatives. Family bike rides were substituted in place of retail therapy and fine dining. We abdicated our need to be constantly out and about doing. Started acclimating to simply being. Allowed ourselves to enjoy the slower pace of life.
And almost everyone smashed through at least a few home improvement tasks that had been lying dismally dormant on the ‘to do’ list for months/years.
It therefore comes as no great surprise that, with iso easing and lockdowns lifting, more than a few of us are reticent to relinquish the solace we have found in this seeming impingement on our freedom.
And so, as we prepare to transition into less isolated isolation, and less lockddown-y lockdowns, the conversations have begun.
‘Do we actually want everything to return to exactly as it was before? Or do we maybe want to hold onto a few elements of this new lifestyle once the limitations lift?’
On this front, everyone will no doubt have differences of opinion. But personally, there are a few features I wouldn’t mind perpetuating post-pandemic.
The intentionality of iso-interactions
In my book, catch-ups organised deliberately with people I’m genuinely hanging out to see trump en-masse invitations dished out by distant-ish acquaintances any day.
Hanging onto that newfound skerrick of extra alone time
Much as we’re all programmed to crave companionship and connection, there’s a certain freedom found in the occasional absence of our fellow humans.
Substituting the odd video call in place of in-person meet-ups from time to time
The emissions, effort and road rage saved by avoiding extensive commutes over the past 2 months has been rather heavenly. And ‘big nights’ are certainly less exhausting when they wind down a mere 15m from bed!
Continuing to find joy in life’s more simple pleasures
In the absence of extravagant adventures and experiences, lockdown life has re-taught me how to see beauty in the mundane. The fragrant delight of a home-cooked meal prepared with loving care. The excitement of spotting teddy bears in windows along a suburban stroll. The delicious relaxation of a Sunday morning home yoga session.
So has lockdown life been easy? No.
Do we want to be locked down forever? Of course not.
But outside of a Marvel movie, nothing in this world is ever entirely ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Every disaster offers opportunity and potential for learning and growth.
What will you carry on into post-pandemic life?