Last September, I took two trips to the office before Boris changed the rules and suggested we should all work from home again. That was the first step in a long journey to another lockdown.
Last week, I took my second of two trips to the office before we hear we are at the start of wave 3 over the weekend. Admittedly, my main reason for both visits was for the dinner and drinks plans I had made after work, but is this a sign we’re going to be yo-yoing with restrictions for some time to come?
A lot of the pandemic has been spent balancing risk of catching COVID to risk to the economy. The NHS has won that battle more times than not, which is why we’re here today with a roadmap out of lockdown. The economy, however, seems to show that we want to get out. Spending in April was a whole chunk higher than February 2020 (the last full month before restrictions hit), booking a table in a pub is a challenge and transport levels are rising. Is our desire to be out and about meaning we’re thinking less of the COVID risk but risking us more restrictions?
I do think a large part of this comes down to the vaccine though. We can see some huge numbers when looking at the number’s vaccinated – mum goes for her second dose today. So there is a greater sense of safety when out. I’m not saying this is why the pubs are full, but in August we needed money off to entice us back in. The only real change (aside from the mostly miserable May weather) has been vaccines.
So maybe, as I eagerly await the moment I can say “I’ve got a text” not from the producers of love island, but from the NHS the light at the end of the tunnel seems ever brighter, it does come with a sense of deja vu as cases rise following a trip or two to the desk.
A virus has one goal and that’s to survive. We have many a goal, but defeating the virus plays a part in most of them. As COVID mutations continue to mutate, will we have a summer of fun before a winter of restrictions? I certainly hope not but the slight change in rhetoric gives a sense of September to me. But maybe that’s because I can see parallels in my own behaviour too.