It’s undeniable that so much has happened this year, especially in the past few months. We started off the year with the Hong Kong protests, the Australian bushfires, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the continuation of civil wars such as the Yemeni Civil War and WHO’s declaration of COVID-19 being of international concern. That’s all in one month. Following that, we had the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, the acquittal of Trump’s impeachment, a stock market crash, a 20,000 ton oil leakage into the Arctic Circle and the Black Lives Matter movement (find out how you can help here).
Coronavirus in particular has brought out lives to a complete halt. 435,000 deaths later (and counting), it seems we are slowly getting back to normal, although the virus is nowhere near completely gone. Coronavirus made us stop everything: our jobs, our social life and even everyday travel, in fear of us catching this abnormal and still partially unknown disease.
I saw this Instagram story from Tiffany Watson from a poster put up in the Fulham area, asking “when all this is over, how do you want the world to be different?”
People could write their thoughts and ideas down, and I thought, during this time of uncertainty, hope and change, it would be interesting to gain the perspectives of my fellow Group Chat members.
This is something I haven’t actually thought about until now as I feel like we’re all stuck in our little lockdown bubble and it’s hard to imagine life ever getting back to normal. It’s safe to say everyone has gone through the mill in the last 3 months with lockdown and the BLM movement, so to think changes won’t come from this is crazy. These 3 months have made me realise how much I take for granted – not being able to travel and discover new places, not being able to hug my friends or family, I even miss the gym!!
Having a global pandemic along with the biggest political movement in history has helped me see that above everything, we all need to stick together. I hope that after all this chaos is over, we’ll show more love to one another. That we’ll be more understanding, less judgmental, give more time to those who need it most, to not take things too seriously and show support more than ever. This has given us all time to reflect on our lives and what we need to do to change them. Each person will have individual changes to make, but I believe that we should all make drastic changes to how we treat people and our planet as, as we’re all seeing, nothing can be certain.
Throughout the pandemic, everyone had stepped up to the plate and helped those in need within their own communities. I would like to hope that the willingness to help others in need and the community spirit is only further solidified and continues on after the pandemic is over. I would also like to hope that the hygiene standards are kept up, as hopefully it will be able to prevent and help with future flus and colds.
However, I am increasingly worried about what world we are going into after coronavirus. With the economy and job market being rendered very fragile, I am worried for the job prospects that I am going to have when I finish uni, as it will become an even more competitive market, due to many people having lost their jobs and business being forced to shut.
Through all the current physical isolation that the pandemic has caused, there has been a convergence of people in their experiences, relations and mindsets. We unite in our empathy, by supporting local businesses, aiding more vulnerable people with their food shops and checking up on each other through calls and facetimes.
When coronavirus is finally cleared, I hope we heighten our emotional intelligence. May unnecessary rage that was present beforehand minimise; may we continue helping those most vulnerable in care homes or living homelessly on our streets; may we continue to nurture our environment to keep pollution low as we have during this pandemic. I hope we stay close with our social circles, we upkeep the hobbies we have developed to occupy our times alone, and I hope we continue to thrive as we have during these incomprehensible times. At the end of the day, we all went through this together.
I think my biggest worry about what will happen when the coronavirus situation is all over is that things will go back to the way they were. During this time, I feel people have been more reflective. This can be in a number of ways: taking time for themselves, making effort to keep in contact with people and being more conscientious in how we deal with others, either offering to do their shopping or understanding that keeping the 2 metre distance can be awkward, yet important. When this is all over and the world goes back to ‘normal’, I would like to see this continue, and not everybody just go back to their busy routine which takes priority over everything else. The pandemic has caused everyone to think about how they act in public and how they interact with others, which, if continued, could create a more considerate society.
I think this also links to all the injustice that has been brought to light at this time. My worry is that once the world returns to normal, these issues will no longer be talked about as much nor gain as much traction that is needed to establish change. I would hope that the world that comes out of the pandemic continues to reflect on their own actions and help others.
I hope for more love in the world after this is all over. Many people need a lot of healing from different issues and situations that have happened during this time, so I also hope for more peace. The situation we have been placed in is a first for everyone, and one that no one could prepare for. Lives have been affected physically and mentally so recovery and healing from this period will be long once this is all over. But this is why I hope for more love and positivity to come through, we need to realise just how precious life is and how grateful we should be to have one another and to be alive in a world that spreads more love than hate.
After this difficult period of time has passed, I hope everyone uses everything they’ve learnt; about themselves, about the environment and about the community they live in and apply it to their everyday lives. Lockdown has been a good time for learning and reflection and I hope that people start to value the people around them a bit more and appreciate any small privileges they have, that may not been so noticeable before. I hope people continue to work together as a community to make the world a better and safer place by calling out issues within our society, such as racism, and continue to actively address these issues.
I completely agree with what the Group Chat members said, and I echo this too. However, one thing I’ve noticed in the midst of all this is that people are a lot kinder. I was food shopping with my mum the other day, and every single shop assistant or any essential worker we came across for that matter was kind and cheerful, as were the people queuing and shopping. I don’t know if it was the craving for social contact, but it was so refreshing and made the world seem like a better place, even though we all know what’s going on.
I brought it up to my mum and she said it may be because people aren’t rushing around anymore or under mass stress (regarding the people walking around and shopping), and I guess that has a knock-on effect to the essential workers. I guess oftentimes the result of people being not as helpful or cheery is because someone made them that way, so when people aren’t abrupt or rude to essential workers because of their own personal stress, it makes everyone happier, and I’m liking how this world has become more cheery as a result of this virus.
I have found that this kindness has extended in different ways too: from supporting local businesses, to supporting charities, to supporting movements, to supporting each other. The way checking up on each other has changed to a whole new level is so important. I wish for the same level of kindness and support to continue after the virus.
I have also learnt to appreciate what I have, and realise what I take for granted. If you told me this time last year that we would have to queue for supermarkets, all non-essential businesses would be closed for months, hand sanitizer, soaps and baking products were sold out and we weren’t allowed to go outside or meet people for a while, I would think it sounded like a new apocalypse teen novel about to come out. You take for granted things like going out, travelling and seeing people. You take for granted your health, and how that can be taken away so easily. You take for granted how easily accessible things are. I have learnt to appreciate how fortunate I am to have the things that I have, even as simple as a garden to go out in in the times where we couldn’t go out. I appreciate my friends and family, and I want to make sure I make every minute count.
This quarantine will probably make me more adventurous than ever before as I want to make the most of my life: see the world, even if it means new places that are an hour away, do new things, experience life to the fullest. I want, when this is all over, for people to appreciate what they have and step out of their comfort zone. I wish for people to look out for one another as we have in this time, be kind, create change wherever needed and never take anything for granted.
Thank you all for reading, and if you have any thoughts on this or topics you’d like us to discuss, please share them below or on Instagram x