As we start to work our way out of the global pandemic there are already signs of ‘lockdown lift’ anxiety – as families start to emerge from the ‘safe’ environment they have created. People are reluctant to go to back work because they ‘might be exposed’,mothers are reluctant to send children to school, visitors are turned away at the door because they ‘might be a risk’.
The cause may be new but this anxiety is an old friend. We all experienced it on our first day at school, when moving away from home or starting when a new job. It is simply a fear of the unknown. Our imaginations, fired by the 24 hour news reporting of the pandemic, have lost all sense of perspective. Danger lurks around every corner so it is easier to just stay safe. But we did go to school, we did leave home and we did start that job – and we will re-engage with the world now.
Exactly what we will find is difficult to predict but I’m pretty sure that much of it will be far better than we feared. We will have to adapt to the new normal and this will involve lamenting the loss of some old favourites, but there will also be improvements and much that is just different.
The important thing is that we do go out. We find the courage to venture over the doorstep and embrace what awaits. The familiar, the new, the different and the unwelcome, whatever awaits us I am confident we will be able to deal with it, because we always have!