Pandemic Life: Looking towards the Future

With any global event such as this, the world will never be the same. Throughout recorded history we have seen many diseases sweep across vast areas of land, taking many lives with them. And while as sad as that is, and as difficult as it has been for many people in today’s world, there is always hope for the future.

I am no history buff, but I am aware that after every plague or pandemic there have been great strides made to combat human suffering. Policies created to protect public health. Advances in medicine to understand the human body. Changes to society to reflect the betterment of it’s people. While no one can predict what will come out of the current COVID-19 situation, we can speculate on the changes we wish to see in the world…

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For me, I hope that we move into a kinder place as a society. It’s no wonder that with everything going on, the ‘pressure cooker’ of our world has been set so high that people are fed up with the injustices many still face (and have done for quite some time). While not explicitly related, I think that as we’ve had an opportunity to pause and reflect on our lives, many of us are appreciating how much progress we still need to make. Maybe we will see some more progress made, within the world of civil rights – #blacklivesmatter

But this opportunity to reflect and take action has come thanks to changes in our working lives. Some workers may have transitioned into remote-working. Others have lost their jobs entirely, while key-workers are put under more pressure now more than ever.

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As a Health & Wellness Coach, a lot of my work these days is around stress, particularly around work. Too many of us are grinding ourselves too hard, and typically at no fault of our own. Higher expectations are put on workers, and a lack of wage rises has meant that life outside of work is harder these days – mostly for young people. I would hope that our perceptions of what work is, and what it could be, may change to one that is more equitable and less stress-inducing. Of course, that would have to come with major changes in policy and wealth distribution, the likes of which I don’t think we’ve ever seen before.

But in this new world, I see more work being done from home. The transition to remote-working has allowed more people to spend time with family, be better about their eating habits, and overall live a less stressful existence. Why should we return to that normal 9-to-5, when we can be just as productive and happier at the same time?

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With that of course would hopefully come changes in broadband distribution. If we all need a stable connection to work effectively, maybe we will see a much needed upgrade in the internet-based infrastructure across the country. As I work from home myself anyway, lockdown or otherwise, this would my life a whole lot easier knowing that my services were not impacted by a broadband company’s inability to have an effective service of their own. I won’t name names, but you know how bad it can be!

I also hope that here in the UK we finally fund our NHS adequately. As a nation most of us have done our bit to slow the infection rate, so that our NHS staff can keep up with the mountain of cases to tend to. With rainbows posted on windowsills, and weekly clapping on doorsteps, our appreciation of the NHS has never been higher. But, if we continue to let an administration to defund our public healthcare sector, we risk the chance of losing our NHS to a private system none of us want. Let’s hope this never comes to pass.

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Of course there are many other changes I would like to see, but far too many to list all of them here. What I will say though is that with every tragedy comes and opportunity to be better. The bigger the tragedy, the bigger the opportunity. Whether you are aware of it or not, we as individuals, and as a collective, have a choice to make as to how we wish to live a new life on the other side of lockdown. What do you want your post-pandemic life look like?

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