IT’S like we’ve pressed the snooze button on life and now it’s time to wake up.
That’s how I felt when I read the news that a vaccine was ready to be rolled out.
And just like getting out of bed after the mother of all lie-ins, I really didn’t want to.
A vaccine is the news we’ve all been waiting for, a joyous reason to celebrate. And yet I found myself feeling a rising mixture of fear and dread and “just five more minutes please”.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a column about why I’m an anti-vaxxer – in fact, I’m surprised that only half of Brits recently surveyed were interested in getting the Covid-19 vaccination.*
If there’s an injection to stop you getting sick from a potentially lethal virus, then sign me up (insert your own ”little pricks” joke here).
It’s not even a column about how I wished I’d used this pandemic to write a novel/learn French/ get fit and now I’m out of time. But I don’t think I’m alone in not feeling totally ready to go back to normal life.
Yes, this year has been horrible. And of course I’m looking forward to a time when I can meet my friends for a drink without wondering if it’s going to kill me.
My world has shrunk and with it my confidence. I can’t believe I used to go out every night (sometimes seeing multiple groups of friends!).
It’s unfathomable that I could travel around the world, when I now feel reluctant to travel around the block.
But there’s also a big part of me – the introverted “nana” part of me that owns a downstairs duvet and loves an early night – who has relished what this pandemic has served up.
I can’t pretend there’s not been something refreshing about this year’s cancelled plans, the endless opportunities to avoid people you don’t really like, the get-out-of-jail-free card for not being madly successful and the constant alibi for slovenly grooming habits.
When I think back to 2019 – which feels approximately three decades ago – the buzzword was hyper-productivity.
Ask someone how they were and they would usually reply “busy!” or some variation of it. It felt like you had to have a side-hustle, a power hour and plans for the weekend that were an impressive mix of socially exciting and culturally improving. This year has released us from all that.
Yes, it’s been slow, but hasn’t it also been calm and peaceful? Is it any wonder I don’t want to go hurtling back to modern life?
Normally in the run-up to Christmas, I feel stressed-out, mince-pie bloated and totally exhausted from everyone I know saying “we must meet up before Christmas”.
This year, I just feel happy. Instead of traipsing around the shops getting hot and flustered, I made all my Christmas presents. OK, that’s a big, fat lie, I ordered them online from artisan traders – I have a baby, I have zero time
to do the Blue Peter routine – but I did think about it.
This week I'm…
Listening to… Radio Lento: This soothing podcast records the calming sounds of nature.
Ordering… Mori: Purveyors of the softest organic cotton baby clothes now make matching sleepwear for the whole family.
Watching… Industry: Sex, drugs and stock brokers! I binge-watched this BBC drama, which makes investment banking seem hot.
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I reckon I like the 2020 me more than the 2019 version. She’s more thoughtful, kinder and a lot less sweaty-palmed.
Perhaps there’s a way we can hold on to the good things that came out of this pandemic, and not dive straight back to over-packed trains and even-more-packed schedules.
I know that a vaccine doesn’t mean that this is all over – far from it – and the economic effects will be felt for a long time. But I wouldn’t be surprised if in years to come we feel nostalgia for this weird, old year.
Let’s press snooze a little bit longer.
- Follow Kate on Instagram @katewillswrites.
Source: *Ipsos Mori/King’s College London