Who would have thought that change could happen so quickly?
This time last year, we were planning holidays, buying gifts, making out menus for Christmas parties and here we are now, wearing masks, only going out for short walks, wearing the comfortable clothes, flat shoes, no make up, hair gone grey. In Lockdown 1, we cleared out the wardrobes, painted the skirting boards, replanted the garden, read a few books, thought about learning Chinese, ate biscuits, had a few glasses of wine and were generally upbeat.
In Lockdown 2, we sit and we wait.
We are older, more sanguine, definitely wiser, though it is still hard to know what exactly is going on, despite massive Media coverage. Almost a contradiction. Loads of data, no information. .
Will there be an effective vaccine? Will the Virus collapse and disappear and head back to wherever it came from? We watch as businesses, which have been built up over many years, just close the doors. Many of our friends had an undignified end to a life well lived. Children, sitting in classrooms with unhappy teachers, are forced to wear masks ALL DAY LONG. I know my weekly 15 minute trip to the supermarket is difficult and I remove the mask as soon as I get back to the car. . I have not been on a plane,train or bus for over 8 months and have no desire to do so, either.
Large and small corporations have told their workers that they do not expect to see them back at the office until well into 2021.
Research coming through shows that while many people are happy, even delighted to be working from home and avoiding the traffic, for over 25% there has been a sizable drop in productivity because they had never worked in a non structured environment before. Sending off emails or making calls at 20:00 or 21:00 does not hide the fact that a lot of time was not well utilised during the day. For those living, working and sleeping in their bedrooms, life can be tough. Some have managed to create small corners , in order to differentiate the space. If an accident happens at home, who is responsible?
Some of the changes coming through that will become the norm are greater flexibility of working hours, Parents want to be able to bring their children to and from school. there will be more emphasis on mental and physical health.
The jobs people do will change. In fact, the jobs people will be doing in 10 years time, have not even been envisaged...yet. Of the Top Ten Brands for 2020, most have only emerged in the last 25 years. Many of the top companies got started in the financial shakeup of 2008. We have become familiar with Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft, but Zoom, Uber, Sage and AirBNB just appeared and were suddenly worth billions of $ though, They do not own anything. They provide a service.
Technology, Science and Health continue to make breakthroughs.
We are following new developments in cancer treatment in Elbe Valley. Watch this space.
Jane Fonda is still thriving and says that we get braver as we age. We are grateful for what we have.
I leave you with this quote from Confucius.
We have two lives.
The second one begins the day we realise
We have but one.
Given that we have all been told to stay at home, does that mean that the home is now a legitimate place from where to run a business? Can we just put up a sign and declare this space to be a creche, Medical Centre, Research Lab, Recruiting Office or shop?