I can guarantee that we have something in common. Regardless of background, age or interests. We’re all sick of Covid. This Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the UK lockdown and, honestly, it was nice to have some new way to keep track of time. We’ve all gone through so much in the past year, but remembering that it has only been a year gives me so much more hope for a return to normal. Whatever the new life after Covid normal ends up being.
Held at midday on the 23rd March, a minute of silence took place across the country.
Mourning everyone and everything we’ve lost is something that will take far longer than a day. But a day can be a start. We can never get back this chunk of our lives that Covid has stolen, we just have to rebuild and reconnect.
Recommended reading: National Day of Reflection: An Avoidable Disaster
What will the future bring?
Although it will take years for our lives to fully return to the way they once were, the easing of lockdown restrictions is happening incredibly soon. Hopefully, in Boris Johnson’s plans for re-opening, the government will have finally learned from the many mistakes of the past, and from the incredible efforts of the NHS throughout this pandemic.
The government’s proposed, gradual plan for life after Covid is as follows.
From the 29th of March, we’ll be allowed to meet up in small groups without social distancing in open spaces, like our own gardens. Outdoor sports facilities will also re-open, alongside both adults and children’s sports clubs.
From the 12th of April, providing cases don’t rise dramatically, several non-essential parts of the economy will be allowed to open, including swimming pools, libraries, and hairdressers.
Some holiday destinations will also begin to open, so long as they’re completely self-contained. This day will also mark the end of needing a substantial meal alongside your alcohol, as well as the end of hospitality curfews in England.
From as early as the 17th of May, most social contact rules stand a fair chance of being lifted, with the rule of six being replaced by a limit of 30 people at any outdoor gathering. Entertainment venues will begin re-opening, although social distancing will remain in action here. Up to 10,000 spectators will be allowed into the largest outdoor venues at one time, hopefully replacing the limper cardboard-cut-out variant of a crowd.
Near the end of May, the government will begin a large-scale assessment of ‘long term measures’, like social distancing and the use of masks.
If this all goes well, by the end of June, all legal limits on social contact will be lifted. All venues will be allowed to open, and by most accounts, everyday life will be borderline back to normal. There is hope for all restrictions on weddings and funerals to be lifted around this time, and the majority of people may be able to return to work in person.
A lot of checks and balances will be taken at every step of this plan to make sure we don’t face a severe surge in cases. However, the administration of vaccines has gone incredibly smoothly, as has the re-opening of schools.
Despite initial scepticism and caution, schools, thanks to the new precautions taken, have not caused any significant change in the R number.
With all this being said, after persisting through every setback, every new lockdown restriction and government misstep, mistake and scandal, I think we can finally begin to live in a brighter future with life after Covid.