Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about life post lockdowns, isolation, and moving past the trauma inflicted by an invisible virus. I don’t dwell on negative issues, as I prefer to focus on the improvements that will carry forward from this experience. For starters, I never see myself returning to a daily office work environment. The joy of ditching the commute and avoiding the interruptions caused by someone poking their head into my office to ask a “quick question” is on the top of my list. Working from home resulted in a huge productivity increase.
I’m not the only one who observed this phenomenon. An attorney friend of mine mentioned his firm mandated they continue to conduct most business via virtual meetings. They will hold all client meetings and many court appearances via secure video conferences. The firm noticed a significant drop in non-billable hours because of reduced travel and wait times when a judge’s docket ran long.
I also intend to carry forward my lockdown fashion sense. Comfy clothes and running shoes now rule my closet. I banished items with cumbersome buttons, attack zippers. Any garment that threatened to strangle me disappeared. Anything that left marks, welts, or other lasting impressions went bye-bye.
Grocery shopping, or any retail store, always imparted an impending feeling of dread and the thought of wasting precious hours I might have spent in better ways. The convenience of online ordering was tolerable pre-virus, but many businesses rose to the occasion. Deliveries are outstanding and curbside pickup is genius. When I discovered my local liquor store promised to deliver my order in under two hours, I figured I would never need to leave my home again.
But isolation, I will gladly leave behind. Through everything, I missed my friends most of all. Text messages don’t let me see body language, Zoom calls can’t replace personal contact, and nothing replaces a hug. An understanding pat on the back is priceless. Impromptu hip bumps create joy, and nothing says love, like throwing popcorn at each other. Those things matter. My friends are my diamonds. Each one is uniquely cut, and while none of them are flawless, they reflect spectacular rainbows of color. Surviving this ordeal has made me value them even more.
What life improvements will you carry forward?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer