What Has COVID Taught Us?
COVID created chaos at the start of the year, it is hard to believe that it is already September, and that we all still have access to toilet paper!
The initial lockdown and adaptations we have made have soon become the new norm and it is hard to think that we will have to go back to the hustle and bustle of ‘real’ life.
Back to peak-hour traffic, ferrying kids to this that and the other. Spending more time away from family and becoming more focused on work, deadlines and appointments. How did we ever do it before lockdown?
Lockdown has taught us something.
Slowing down and really being with one another without distractions is the most valuable, inexpensive thing we can do to foster relationships with our kids and partners. Where, instead of rushing around organising and trying to maintain impossible standards of parenthood, friendship circles and society, we actually stopped and did activities with one another, we baked, zoomed and gardened to our hearts content with the people we love. What could be better.
It all sounds glamorous in retrospect, but we all know too much of a good thing is not good for us, so we have had our moments but the good outweighs the bad right? The kids and partners made it through, and we may have one or two more grey hairs but nonetheless we have learnt the importance of boundaries, time alone and hairdressers. Only the positives right…
Perhaps the major downside has been the limitations on movement which has meant the most crucial parts of life have been missed, like the birth of a baby or the death of a family member. These moments cannot be recreated but there is no option but to look at the positives and see what this relatively short time of disruption in our lives means for ourselves and the community. Safety and an understanding of what it is to put strangers first in order to benefit everybody.
Not only have we changed but many employers and workplaces may change too. As the lockdown begins to ease some workplaces are predicted to implement varied working options to become more flexible and allowing their employees to switch between working from home and the office. This would allow for parents to be there for their kids at the school production or parent teacher interviews and to ensure that employees are prioritising health as they are able to go to appointments and exercise due to having more time before and after work.
Similarly, some parents have seen massive improvements in their kids’ learning as they are able to learn at their own pace. They can excel and move ahead in subjects they find easy but also get the attention they require for subjects they struggle in. Many parents may make the move to full-time homeschool as a result, not because of the lack of ability and effort of their teachers but because their child is more suited to the homeschool environment.
Whatever happens when we return to a ‘pre-COVID state’, it will not be the same. You will think twice about touching the screen at the self-checkout and become more aware of the intensity of the life you had before, which seems seriously insane after so much time in ‘COVID limbo’. However, let it be a lesson to us all to remember to slow down, spend time with each and give yourself some grace in times of hardship.