Will things change post-COVID-19? That’s up to all of us

Let’s play a game. How about COVID-19 bingo? Put a line through the box if you’re heard any of the following things said recently:

  • Unprecedented times
  • Hope you’re bearing up ok
  • Shall we have a Zoom call?

And here’s my favourite,

  • I wonder if things will change after this

I don’t mean to be a trite, because actually it is a really valuable question.

I’m slightly cynical that a lot will change post-COVID-19 unless we all pull in the same direction to MAKE things change. Because if we know anything, it’s that power structures, especially those organised around capitalism, are extremely resilient. Right now, those forces and systems of power are reorganised around the new normal, and planning how they can shape the new new normal once we get this pandemic under control.

So that means, if we want to organised society in the shape of all of the good, kind things which have come out of COVID-19 – local community mobilisation, neighbourliness, appreciation of our key health workers – we need to get planning now. Because by the time COVID-19 is ‘over’, it’ll be too late.

So, ask yourself today, if what way would you like life to be different after this? Would you like to remain more plugged into your local community? Would you like to more regularly support local and independent businesses? Would you like to talk to your friends and family more regularly, and just ‘because’?

Your challenge today is to choose three changes you commit to making. Start small – because the devil may be in the detail, but god is in the small things. Your commitments could be:

  • I will smile at people on the tube
  • I will introduce myself to one new neighbour
  • I will volunteer with a befriending scheme for local elderly people
  • I will lobby my local MP to raise the pay and welfare of nurses, healthcare assistants and doctors in parliament when it resumes
  • I will keep up my new yoga/watercolour painting/baking practice

The exciting thing is that now is a rare opportunity to shape our communities and our society around our values. But it starts with us, and it starts now.

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