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T2P36 – Endemic Near

Monday motivation! I could do with a Monday Macchiato, after watching one of the best games of NFL last night. I’ve no regrets however, it was just a great reminder at how epic sports can be. In last week’s week blog I highlighted the growing traction that European countries are preparing to treat COVID like common cold now. This last week in the UK this was confirmed by Boris. He updated the public that working from home (WFH) can stop, along with most restrictions such as certifications and wearing of face masks. One headline was that from March the requirement to self-isolate will also come to an end following a positive Covid test. In other positive updates the Crossrail CEO confirmed that it remains on track to open in the first half of this year. Personally, I’ve been extremely invested in this project as it’s game changer for the south east. For this week’s blog I’ll be exploring how life could begin to look post pandemic.

Mask on, flip it, mask off - Future

With Crossrail set to open, and it offering a much quicker route to Heathrow, it comes at a good time as the need for departure testing is being phased out. Prior to the first announcement advising us to WFH in 2020, I’d just squeezed in a trip abroad to Malta. Malta is usually a popular destination, but when I boarded that flight thar looked like the furthest thing from the truth. Even when I landed in Malta the foot traffic was dramatically down, with stores and bars already beginning to close, really restricting just how much I could get up to. Even on my flight back, whilst it was busier the process was normal, so no COVID tests there was an air of uncertainty amongst passengers. Since then, the travelling process has become excessive and at points unreasonable. This has killed an appetite to travel for me and many others. As we now enter this endemic, those tests and restrictions look to be phased out and give us a chance to be able to holiday plan without worries of forsaken red lists.

Socially, my battery is in the red. What happened or more appropriately didn’t really happen (for most) due to the pandemic is obvious, one huge aspect of my 20s just put on hiatus. Even with all of that I’m not in a rush to be outside, not of fear of the virus, but awareness of what’s outside, inflation. In Poundland, they’ve increased the price of the best chocolate bar to £1.25 (25% increase), the local chicken and chips has increased, petrol has been increased for some time at this point and far too many other items to list. So even as I navigate this endemic life, there’s a strong chance I’ll be taking this initial stage to hibernate and prepare for a summer which I hope sees the return of Notting Hill Carnival.

A lot of us began to WFH on a near full time basis in March 2020, and still up until now that has remained the case. With Boris’ announcement, I’m afraid to say the commute is back, for you it might something else that you’re dreading about the return from the office, but for me it’s absolutely commuting. I went into the office last week and on the way back I was reminded about the seating and personal space struggle. Whilst I don’t mind being in the office, the whole journey there and time spent/lost to get there has me less than enthused. Crossrail should contribute in improving all of that, so you can see why I’m so invested.

The show must go on The show must go on, yeah - Queen

A theme in most of my blogs is how fast time goes to me, and yes I appreciate ‘the show must go on.’ I do feel concern about just how much time will now need to be redirected to traffic, packed trains, double booked meeting rooms at the expense of that time being invested in ourselves. Through more sleep, exercise and general self care, this all just makes me so much more interested in the outcome of the 4 day working week trials underway in the UK. I’m pleased that COVID does look like it’s going to be behind us, especially for entertainment, sports, music and theatre were hit bad, so I’m pleased the shows can go on. What elements of the new normal do you plan to continue to embrace? And what are you looking forward to most as we enter the endemic?

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