Let’s not ‘go back to normal’: A Covid-19 theory

Dear reader,

You find me part way through Covid-19 lockdown. Discovering a new normal. And questioning the old normal.

I have a theory humming around in my brain… You know when you get a cold… it feels like your body is suddenly demanding that you slow down and rest? You’ve been pushing it and you’ve hit your body’s limit.

Maybe that’s what COVID-19 is on a global scale. We humans have hit our limits. This might be a message to slow right down.

Maybe we need to rein in the busyness. Re-prioritise. Take a moment to find out what forces us to set a frantic pace.

Know that there are options.

Know that we can live cheaper with less debt and less pressure.

Know that it’s ok to stop rushing.

Know that we can eat better and more simply, from our local area.

Know that we can buy intentionally (and buy less) from people that are treated well, and make things from materials that are sustainably sourced and processed.

Know that we can make time to make things from scratch and fill our brains with wisdom from all the books we want to read but have never made the time.

And know that we need to connect with people around us. The people that became a priority to check in with during this crisis. Those are the people we need to spend our time with. Cook good food together. Share. Listen and chat deeply. Nothing else matters. Everything else is a distraction.*

Let’s not ‘get back to normal’

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an incredible opportunity for me and some like me, who have not been pressed into frontline service, or have not been directly affected by this horrendous virus, to take a deep breath and gain a wide perspective on what on earth (literally) is going on here.

This pause has made me consider that there’s a whole world of opportunity to make positive changes, because the world we left behind before Covid-19 wasn’t working out. All around us we see the government, small and large business moving fast and adapting under these new pandemic pressures, which makes me take heart that the same can happen for the climate emergency.

On the home front, we’re getting used to new normals too. We’re not making plans to fly interstate, but we are finding an abundance of local places to experience. We’re driving less, buying less stuff and bringing our thoughts and actions to with in our local community.

When the pandemic made long and unsustainable food supply chains unstable, we localised our diet even more and learned some new techniques to preserve food, and eat food that has a longer shelf life.

There have been many layers of benefits for not only the planet, but also we’ve been spending less money and enjoy a slower pace.

The changes we’ve made haven’t felt like things we have to give up or things that have threaten our comfortable lifestyles. They feel like things that make our lives so much better and more fulfilling.

I don’t want to ‘get back to normal’!

I have a vision that looks like small communities of people that really know each other, who work together. Who trade and gift their time, love and lettuce seeds to create healthier people, healthier communities, healthier soils, healthier mental health and ultimately a healthier planet.

We’re all on a journey (here’s a brilliant illustration about said journey by Brenna Quinlan) and it’s a long and zig-zaggy one, we have to be patient, determined and generous with ourselves.

Yours in lockdown

Nat xx

PS. If you are thinking along these lines too, or conversely if you are desperate to ‘get back to normal’, I implore you to listen this recent Dumbo Feather podcast. It’s raw, emotional and completely pertinent in this time.  https://www.dumbofeather.com/podcast/conversation-series-week-6-with-arne-rubinstein/ 

*A few words I wrote in the early days of COVID-19 for Instagram. Here’s the original post and comments.

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