Anxious to forget Covid and need to slow down

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A strange thing happened one night last week. I attended a cocktail party for the first time in more than 16 months of COVID-19.

This is a social event for business women. On the rooftops of central London, cheering sometimes is intimidating and deeply disturbing.

Seeing so many new faces, it is undoubtedly delightful to eagerly pour the free champagne back. This was offset by the frustrating reminder that any one of them could breathe viral disaster on my nose, and vice versa. There are also shocking guest lists of executives, directors, promoters and shakers. And me.

Nevertheless, many of us are equally embarrassed because we have to hobble around in high heels that we haven’t worn for more than a year.

Later, I found that the whole thing was inexplicably familiar, and I couldn’t determine the reason, until I suddenly realized that there was a topic mentioned that I hardly heard all night: the pandemic.

This reminds me of another gathering with my friends at a Melbourne bar early last year, which also included drinking. Only a few weeks later, the city was shrouded in smoke from one of the biggest wildfires of the 21st century. The air is smelly. The masks are sold out.Flight delays and Tennis player fell to the ground At the Australian Open after coughing. Outside the city, people fled to the mysterious blood-stained beach——Red sky Escape from the fire, leaving large areas of the country in dark, smoking ruins.

But in the bar that night, we talked about work, family, other friends, etc. Everything except fire. When I asked why, a friend smiled and said: “They are over now. We have moved on.”

The urge to forget is understandable. After the greater Covid-19 global crisis, who doesn’t want to return to normal life?

Even so, there are gains in this exhausting and painful period—not enough, but some gains. The question is, will there be more serious progress, and will the existing progress collapse as the pandemic eases and the urge to forget prevails?

The benefits of some upgrades are already obvious. On my way out of the London party, I met a guest who put on her ankle-length dress and rode a three-mile night car home on a bicycle.

“It’s good for you!” I blurted out because I drank a bit of free champagne.

This kind of night riding was a very rare sight before the pandemic. However, since the authorities have used the blockade to expand more bike lanes in the city, even I have done so.Especially on weekends Soared 240% Since last year, people’s fear that cycling in London will cause strain on the sphincter has eased.

Lane in it More than 1,400 kilometers Bicycle infrastructure built only during the European pandemic.A similar transformation is underway Bogota arrive Sydney. But with the popularity of vaccination, Already scared The construction boom has reached its peak.

What else has changed? As far as the current situation is concerned, it is difficult to imagine a complete reversal of the shift to more flexible remote work.Unprecedented Attention glare The impact of the pandemic on underfunded nursing homes around the world may not subside anytime soon, although it is unclear whether it will bring about lasting changes.

So are inequality, climate change, and many other pressing dilemmas that plague Davos attendees every year.

If it’s not for inconvenient facts, such as Insignificant 2% Pandemic recovery expenditures are used for clean energy measures.

Or there is news that as of this month, people in richer countries have taken more than 80% The dose required to fully vaccinate 70% of the world’s population, and only About 1% Of Africans have been completely stabbed.

The list continues, and so does the pandemic.

Eventually, it will end, and when it ends, we must not forget all the powerful reasons to remember it.

pilita.clark@ft.com

Twitter: @pilitaclark



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