The common opinion of 2020 is that this has been the worst year for everything, ever. No longer can we take liberty for granted. Spontaneity has become something we have to plan for (the irony). We all live day to day with the possibility that overnight our gender, ethnicity or age may have made us the next vulnerable group.
At a time when it is so hard to think of a positive, I am counting many. It would be so easy at this stage to list obvious negatives but we are all in the same boat (going nowhere obviously) on that one.
So here we go: I am grateful to no longer be crammed and jostled when I do go out shopping. The shops now limiting numbers is a blessing. Further still, the fact that everyone now wears a mask and I am no longer in fear of sneezing, coughing and spluttering in my vicinity.
Denzil and I are not ones for regularly eating out; I have eaten a clean diet for many years and prefer to make dinners from scratch for the two of us, I have the luxury of time also to do this. But we have eaten out since Lockdown and it was a vastly improved experience. The waiter did not bend down to be at my face level nor invade my space to take my order. My chair was not bashed by someone sitting so closely behind me in the same style as airline seating. I haven’t used it, but will assume that ordering via an app online whilst left alone at your table is a better than trying to catch the waiting staff’s eye, or them forgetting to put the order in for you whilst you wait politely, but with your blood sugars dropping and rage rising.
We went to the cinema last week to see the one film we had any interest in Tenat (which was really action packed, definitely not a ‘snooze’ film). We were two of only 6 people in the whole cinema – no one munching and crunching next to us (or even vaguely near us as it turned out). Well done to Vue for keeping costs low at £4.99 but I fear they too will close like other cinemas, as even 6 people buying pick-n-mix at their prices wont keep a business afloat.
I start my Uni degree next week and, for the foreseeable, lectures and seminars are online learning and zooms. But I am welcome on campus, albeit with new rules and H&S procedures. I am absolutely fine with this; happy to have scrupulously clean hands and to walk on the left (know your left please people!), and to wear a mask in common areas. It IS the new norm and, apart from realising the smell of my own breath isn’t always minty fresh, and feeling slight dampness around my chin occasionally, I am happily compliant. I am very excited to be involved in immense creativity and using my brain and imagination. Where possible, we have more time and can embrace learning opportunities: reading for pleasure or self educating.
This year started as a new faced of more and more, and now we have all been forced to appreciate less and make more from it. I will look back on New Years Eve 2020 with sadness at losses, and gratitude for the chance to simplify and reset.