8 good things to come out of the pandemic

Nobody thought we would get to Christmas and the pandemic would still be with us, or that the government would be telling us to ‘work from home if possible’ until April next year!

But you know what, it’s not all doom and gloom. We know it feels that way, but if this year’s pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we are a resilient bunch and that a lot of the changes that have happened are actually for the better. Not convinced? Well, here is a list of what we think are the best things to have come out of the pandemic so far.

1. Changes to how we work
We might all have got a bit sick and tired of Zoom quizzes during lockdown, but you have to admit that video conferencing has revolutionised how we work. When the first lockdown started in March everyone was a bit dubious about whether WFH would be as productive, but as time has gone by more and more businesses are thinking, it just might be the future.

No time wasted commuting, no expensive office costs and happier employees – what’s not to like? In fact, Global Work Place Analytics estimate that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

This year has shown us it is possible to successfully run a business when everyone is working from home and the great thing about that is it means companies can now start to have discussions about more flexible working arrangements. Maybe people will WFH full-time and just meet up once a month or take turns going into the office. Whichever way you look at it, it feels like we are one step closer to the work-life balance we hear so much about but always struggle to achieve.

But is WFH right for creatives? Take a look at what I think about it.

2. Things are more accessible
Opera, art galleries, pop concerts, church services – it’s wonderful that so many cultural experiences are now available online for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. And that’s before we even start talking about online workouts, virtual doctor’s appointments and virtual learning!

But in some ways, it’s a shame it’s taken so long for this to be a reality. There are many disabled people who have been asking for this type of access for years, but have repeatedly been told it’s ‘not feasible’. Let’s hope these changes are here for good.

3. The world is healing
Less traffic means less pollution, which is better for the environment. It makes you wonder if the pandemic was nature’s way of asking us all to take a breath and start caring a bit more about the world around us. And given the World Health Organisation estimates that about 3 million people die each year from ailments caused by air pollution maybe we should sit up and take note.

Look at India – the air there is nearly always a constant haze and yet now it’s so clear you can see the Himalayan mountains again from 125 miles away! And in Venice the waterways are now clear, as there are no boats stirring up the sediment on the bottom of the canals. A bit of a shame that the world is at its best, just because we aren’t travelling around it.

4. Personal hygiene has improved, hopefully!
“Happy birthday to you…” We all know the importance of washing our hands before the pandemic (well, most of us did!) but over the last few months, it’s fair to say that it has heightened our awareness. Stair bannisters, self-service touch screens, door handles – all touched by multiple people, some of whom won’t have washed their hands recently.
Makes you never want to touch anything ever again!

5. The importance of community spirit
Italians singing from their roof tops, the Thursday clap, people bringing shopping supplies to their neighbours – this year has really helped bring communities together. And now there are a plethora of Christmas ads from the likes of John Lewis and Amazon, all talking about kindness, love and sharing.

We hope this community spirit isn’t just for Covid and that when this is all over we won’t forget there are still people out there who feel alone and isolated.

6. Online shopping has saved the day
We’ve mentioned before how lucky we are that we could shop online during lockdown, but what has been really special is how the elderly, vulnerable and keyworkers have been put first. With special delivery slots available as well as priority shopping hours for those working long shifts, it’s been a wonderful way to ensure everyone is taken care of. That kind of support should definitely stay post-Covid.

7. It’s the time for Grumpy Old Men
You’ve got to admit that for some people the idea of staying at home, ordering everything online and only meeting up with a very restricted set of people, and only very occasionally, is a dream come true! Which is why grumpy old men are in their element at the moment. No more finding excuses to not go out (Oh, look there is a cloud in the sky, it might rain later, better stay home), having to show interest in things like Love Island (Jonathan, we’re looking at you!) or being forced to be social. We think everyone should embrace their grumpiness and make the most of it while you can!

8. Ordering a pint by app
There is nothing worse than the soul-destroying moment when you realise you want another drink but the crowd around the bar is ten deep. Is it worth it? Probably not! Which makes you wonder why ordering by app hasn’t always been a thing. Just use the app to order your drink (and food), pay and it is brought to your table. Genius!

The irony is this was actually a thing before the pandemic. Wetherspoon’s launched an app a few years ago to help those who might not be mobile or able to walk to easily order in their pubs. A great idea, that has only just caught on. Let’s hope it becomes the new normal.

Posted by Kathryn.