There's a lot to miss about life before lockdown.
I miss seeing my friends at the pub on Saturday afternoons, the noise of too many people huddled together around a small table, several conversations going on at once.
I miss taking my child to the playground. I miss seeing her face light up when I pick her up from daycare.
I miss being able to leave my town. I miss hugging my friends. I miss patting people's dogs. I miss going for a long walk up a hill.
I miss the busyness of life when the shops are open. I miss the cinnamon rolls from the cafe near home, the loud music at the brewery.
I miss having the freedom to choose whether to go somewhere or not (even if usually the choice is to not).
I miss my freedom. I miss my choices. We all do.
But there are a lot of things I don't miss.
I don't miss the time when we didn't care this much about the people around us.
The pandemic has forced us to care more about people - the individual and the collective. It proved that it can be done.
And it shouldn't only be done when we're in a pandemic.
We can look after each other. We can help people who lose their jobs, we can have people working from home or in flexible working arrangements if they need it.
We can drive less. We can be more conscious about how we consume things - essential and non-essential.
We can plan better, we can waste less.
We clearly can put mortgages on hold when people can't pay them for a while. We can freeze rents. We can do away with late payment fees and other nonsense stuff like that that only adds unnecessary stress to people's lives.
We can bring down pollution levels. We can get shelter for homeless people.
We can prioritise elderly people or those who are immune compromised. We can make sure they navigate life safely, with priority shopping and whatever else they need to stay well.
The list of things it turns out we can do but weren't doing is long and I hope our memory isn't short.
The old "normal" did not include any these. Screw going back to that normal. That normal sucked.
When we get rid of Covid-19, we shouldn't want life to be like it used to be. We should include all these things in our new normal.
We paid a hard price for these newly discovered truths. Let's at least make sure that wasn't all for nothing.