Last week, as part of level 2 changes our band was able to rehearse for the first time in weeks.
It was as if the past eight weeks had not occurred as, fully observing two metres separation, we were able to get back into the groove of playing as a unit relatively quickly.
Previously we used to hand around a bag of potato chips (diets are set aside when Vinyl practices or plays) but an innovative band member (Mark Wilson on trumpet) brought biodegradable plates into which the chips were carefully and hygienically divvied out.
We all accepted the new approach, with humorous banter on the whole, but without too much comment.
But, in the middle of badly singing 'She Sells Sanctuary' by the Cult, a thought popped into my head and really interfered with my poor attempts at hitting the high notes.
What if the things we used to take for granted were gone – permanently? It was a big thought and resulted pretty much in the song being cast aside from any future setlist.
While I agree for the most part with working hard to mitigate the spread and impact of a rogue pathogen, I don't like the thought of what was/is commonplace in human interaction being consigned to the scrap heap.
Many would argue that, "this is just for a period of time (until we get a vaccine)" but I'm finding it hard work sourcing successful coronavirus vaccines of the past. We are also hearing the timeline of "18 months to 2 years" more loudly now.
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So, what about business?
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Business is a human interaction and relies on personal contact. The intervention of technology such as Zoom and telecommunications, means many person-to-person functions can be undertaken so long as you have power, Wi-Fi and a non-temperamental computer.
I'd take a person-to-person meeting over vid/teleconference every time, there is something about the separation that means that the connection is not as complete.
You lose a lot of the banter and essential relationship components which are important to sustaining a business relationship.
Likewise, the rush to online trading causes many to go straight to behemoths in online retail rather than the locals.
This in turn amplifies the funnelling of wealth to a minority at the expense of small businesses.
No, I haven't gone to bed and woken up a socialist, but even the most capitalist of persons would quietly ponder that having one man become a trillionaire, while the rest of the world deals with a material recession, is not the most ideal outcome.
And that's why I am not at all a fan of terminology like "new normal" because it assumes there won't be an opportunity to return a lot of what was good about business in the "BC" (Before Covid) times.
It also risks the shrugging of shoulders and acceptance of a less desirable state when what we really should be doing is rallying and working harder to maintain the best of what we had.
Perhaps we should be gathering together the best minds in the community and planning for a future that works to keep what was good about what came before?
Lest the good things like our customs and businesses go the same way as a really cool song consigned to the scrapheap by a distracted singer.