Every cloud has a silver lining. And in this pandemic era, that silver lining has arguably been the copious amount of time we’ve all had for self reflection. Lockdown life has given a lot of us time to focus on things we’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time to get around to.
But soon, we’ll return to the way things were before. Some things will be altered for sure, perhaps we’ll be more mindful of hygiene or event accessibility. For sure online classes will become more commonplace. But fundamentally, we’ll return to something far more ‘normal’ than the wild trip of the 2020s so far.
Given this grand return, is there anything you’ll miss about this time?
Now I can’t answer for anyone else, but in my own experience, there are absolutely some things I’ll miss. Like the connections I’ve made with some wonderful people through the online world.
Everyone being forced into having free time has allowed me to have long chats with friends almost every night, sometimes discovering new online worlds together, other nights singing karaoke along to Rick Astley and Glass Animals while dressing up in our most audacious outfits.
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I know several people who’ve discovered a new passion for streaming, particularly on Twitch. There’s been plenty of time to not only make content but to discover it too.
The pandemic has given rise to a whole new generation of online influencers, indie games, and home-grown music. These young people who’ve jumped on the chance for success and rode it all the way to the top include thousands of prominent TikTok stars and hundreds of thousands of smaller creators who’ve carved out their own niches and welcoming communities. Shameless plug to Giga lesbian, and incredible artist ‘thatoneb1otch’ – go help her tackle her crippling Minecraft PvP addiction.
What about masks?
Another odd positive that has arisen from the burning wreckage that Covid has left in its wake is masks. These pieces of fabric have become a staple of pandemic life. They’re stuffy, claustrophobic, and irritating. Who isn’t waiting to be rid of these material menaces for good?
Now hear me out, I know that there are several, awful downsides to masks (primarily the muffling effect on our voices and a complete brick wall being put up to anyone who needs to lip read); glasses steaming up is another massive downside that refuses to leave me be.
So overall, the fact that masks will soon be phased out from the norm is brilliant. But personally, I might just keep wearing one. Not all the time of course, but wearing a mask has proved to massively boost my confidence. I’ve always been self-conscious about how my mouth looks, so being able to completely obscure it has been doing wonders for my self-esteem.
However, more broadly, wearing a mask has forced us to speak up. You can’t mumble and expect shopkeepers, or teachers, or even friends to inherently understand what you’re saying anymore.
For the pragmatic and fashionable, masks have also become a whole new accessory to accentuate your outfit, hide some unfortunately placed acne, and save time on makeup in the morning. It doesn’t hurt that they can also keep your face warm while you’re walking on a freezing, blustery spring day. Ah, the joys of living in the North East.
What comes next?
So enjoy the new freedoms being granted to us. Relish in concerts, and pubs and hugs. But remember that it hasn’t been “all-bad”, and perhaps take some of your lockdown joys with you. A weekly video call with your friends, or growing your socials, or anything else you’ve enjoyed this past year could continue to be one of the highlights of your week.
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