Opinion

What’s worth keeping from the COVID era?

By John Lewis

Now that the COVID doona is coming off, I'm not so sure.

The other day I found myself in a traffic jam on Wyndham St as people tried to get into one lane coming out of McDonald's and heading towards the new SAM blockage.

Then I had to queue for a coffee at my favourite takeaway.

Then I got kicked off the couch and told to stop reading and go outside and get back into the hurly burly.

This would have never happened under lockdown.

As restrictions ease and things settle back to pre-COVID madness I find myself looking back to a time when life was slower, less pressured and somehow more livable.

As if lockdown was a long-lost age peopled with languid pre-Raphaelites who went around smelling roses, writing poetry and bowing to each other.

Well, that's what I did.

Now, the ugly engine of capitalism is gathering steam again with people shouting on the radio, barging around supermarkets, revving cars, yelling at kids and relentlessly marketing stuff.

So I've made a list of things it would be nice to retain from the COVID era.

I've also listed a few things it would be good to throw out and never return to.

Things to Keep

● Afternoons on the couch reading huge novels without feeling guilty.

● Long aimless walks with a dog after spending a day on the couch reading.

● Slow meals on the verandah with family.

● Long chats with a dog at sunset.

● Planning gardening projects with no intention of actually carrying them out because they involve dangerous trips to Bunnings.

● Hitting supermarkets like a military raid - with no dawdling for idle chatter.

● No sport on the radio.

● Listening to podcasts.

● Zoom meetings.

● Jigsaws.

● Online jam sessions with grandchildren.

● Long kitchen chats about knitting and the meaning of life with your daughter over a glass of wine.

● Livestreaming weekend loungeroom concerts with Sam and Sam and other local musos.

● Crusty bread deliveries every Thursday.

See? There are lots of simple things it would be nice to keep from the COVID era. You probably have a few of your own.

On the other hand, there are a few things it would terrible to go back to.

Things to avoid ever doing again

● Travel to pointless meetings.

● Filling up your social diary because networking is so important.

● Planning a cruise ship holiday.

● Listening to shouty sports commentary when you could be listening to a nice poetry podcast.

● Going to crowded bars packed with drunks because that's where it's all happening.

You'll notice there are quite a few things worth keeping from the COVID era.

Perhaps it was a learning curve after all.