Home > The Monday Musings Column > on back to normal

on back to normal

We are living in strange times, certainly here in the UK, but also in many other countries and we are all looking forward to an end to the restrictions that have become our current norm. But will we go back to what we had before?

Certainly there seems to be a political desire for us to get “back to normal”, and I can understand a desire at that level to try to be reassuring, but I am not sure that we will ever get back to where we were in, say, February 2020.

Change is inevitable and you can never really go back. I can remember my parents and others of their generation talking about how different things were before and after WW2 although I could not image it myself. Now as I approach my eighth decade I can look back and see change fairly clearly; it is not that long ago, for me, that as a salesman out on the road I carried a bag off coins so that I could call the office from a telephone box. I can also remember programming mini computers to run programmes through 1k of memory. The last sentence would probably take up 1k in a word processing programme of today and my mobile ‘phone has more processing power than we could have dreamt of back then.

But even the more dramatic changes that I have lived through pale in terms of what we have seen in the last three months and I cannot believe that whatever we get next will be less than a quantum change. Businesses are going to fail, especially in retail and hospitality, and the knock on effect through distribution to production will ripple across. All of this will affect the way that money flows through the economy and whilst we have been through recession a few times in my life I feel that this is going to be different.

Shopping patterns have changed, attitudes have changed and all of what the last few months have brought is going to make it a different world. I have no doubt that the economists are doing their best to predict the future, but I have. no idea what awaits us once Covid-19 fades from our priorities (assuming that it does).

This is not meant to be a doom and gloom post, far from it. We will come out on the other side and make the best of what we have; we always do. Change brings a level of excitement, it brings out the competitive urge and opens doors for those brave enough to walk through them. There is much that I do not like about 2020 so far, but it is what it is and I can’t change it. I can just look forward to doing my best with whatever hand I get dealt. If we all do the same we will be fine.

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