But do look around. Today there are reminders of living things carrying on as normal, even though the mild Winter means that our Spring flowers are two months early in their growth! Daffodils in flower in January! Today I watched a magpie collecting twigs for nest building. Don’t birds have a calendar? It’s too early!
If you listen to comments frequently being made on the TV many of these people talk about us soon being able to return to normal. But what will normal look like? Will we ever get back to what we remember as normal?
What is certain is that the many scientists in this country have been brilliant in producing vaccines that can give us some immunity against coronavirus. Typical of many viruses, we are now witnessing new variants of the disease appearing but, so far, although they are variants of the original COVID-19 virus, it appears that our vaccines will be effective against them. Many virologists are predicting that we will have to get used to a coronavirus vaccine every year (just like we do for the flu virus now). Is that the new ‘normal’?
Certainly ‘staying in’ has been the new normal and ‘staycations’ are back in fashion as there are so many restrictions to travel worldwide. I know that many of you have loved going on cruises to visit those faraway places. Saga Travel have recently announced that, when they start their cruises again, you will need to have had the two jabs that make up our current vaccination. As well as your UK passport, will the new normal be the addition of a vaccine passport to enable you to gain access to the cruise ship and foreign destinations?
In many of the countries in the Far East people have been wearing masks in public for many years before the COVID-19 outbreak. Will this be part of the new normal for us in England?
Just a year ago, to mention the word shopping, Tunbridge Wells, Blue Water, Lakeside and Oxford Street would be names that might spring to mind! What a difference 12 months has made – so many big high street names have gone so what will the new normal be for shopping post COVID-19? Will shopping centres survive?