What lies beyond lockdown?

What lies beyond lockdown?

It’s been a while since I last wrote. Since then, work, play and all the stuff in between have all slowly taken back the time that was so suddenly unleashed during lockdown.

Small freedoms

Initially every detail seemed magical. Being able to stroll through a flower-filled park. Wandering along the Seine river as the sun sets. Having been stuck at home for so long, I was finally able to “savour the moment” or “live in the present.”

But like all good things, this hyper-awareness didn’t last…

Back to old habits

Although we lived an unprecedented 2-month hiatus, life has swung back relatively quickly. Most of our old habits haven’t (yet) been killed off Covid. I’m still working with many of my favourite clients, as well as a couple of new ones. I’m back running under the shady trees in the Vincennes woods. I’m coworking at the same offices. Even my yoga classes started up again.

With the 14 days of quarantine a thing of the (recent) past, I’m also planning to pop back to the UK later this week*

*Subject to Covid levels on both sides of the Channel

Change is in the air

So, what has actually changed? Obviously, the health situation is still critical in many countries, and, even in Europe, there is still a delicate balance between opening up and limiting the spread of the virus. And, the economic consequences will unquestionably be wide-reaching and long-term.

During lockdown there was a lot of talk about revolutionising our societies, but so far real change seems a long way off. Ok, it’s early days, but for the time-being the humanitarian crisis is the priority and most people will be relieved to just go back to the old normal.

The “new normal” so often cited has yet to emerge.

Will ecology become the priority we need it to be?

Will economic recovery go hand in hand with environmental protection?

A glimmer of green?

It’s become clear that we need to build resilience to adapt to the challenges facing us, in particular, to combat the effects of climate change. Stimulus need to be sustainable to ensure long-term growth that slows our impact on the planet. And, in the face of growing inequality, we need to look beyond narrow financial interests.

There are signs of hope. The French government attached “green” conditions to its Air France bailout – slash domestic flights and invest heavily in reducing CO2 emissions and developing planes fuelled by clean energy.

Yet, this approach doesn’t seem to be coordinated, consistent or consentaneous.

Huge amounts of money are also being used to prop up the fossil fuel industries. According to Bloomberg Analysts, “more than half a trillion dollars worldwide – $509bn – is to be poured into high-carbon industries, with no conditions to ensure they reduce their carbon output.”

Only time will tell how whether this will be a real revolution. The biggest problem? That we don’t have much time to wait and see.

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