Primary schools and kindergartens opened up again this week here in Finland. In a way it’s an end to a certain era of the fight against Covid-19. I doubt we will need to have this drastic measures again, but you never know. It has helped a little with the concentration now that there is less hassle at the house during the day. I suppose next week I will finally know the real effect of working home alone. I don’t really remember how it felt even because it feels it’s been such a long time with full house.
They will also start opening up other places slowly in the beginning of June like restaurants and the group size restrictions is increased from 10 to 50 people. Still for example many offices will stay closed, ours included, and restaurants are definitely not going to be fully operational yet, nor any other venues or shops.
Closures and empty space
After a few months I visited a shopping centre a few days ago and it was a bit eerie feeling with so many shops either closed temporarily or permanently. Quite a few had closing down sales which makes you wonder what there will be left after a few weeks? Even if there is something left, will anyone have money to spend anymore? How vulnerable our society is and how dependent on everyone spending money. We have built it around materialism maintaining the standard of living . Now that we are home we don’t buy anything “on the way somewhere” or “passing by”. I am actually hoping that this will be the end of the materialism in the world in a way and have noticed that I am thinking more consciously about what I put my money into, do I really need it and have found a lot of things you can actually do without!
I am worried, like everyone is, about the future. How all this will affect us and how long will it take before we recover from this. Then again good things may happen. We travel less overseas and even to work so it must have a positive impact on the air quality and climate. Maybe more people will continue working from home and travel less in general and pollution will go down. Then again is that enough to make a real impact on the climate crisis? I for one have changed my thinking. I have no desire to travel overseas currently and even when it is possible it may take a while before I would consider doing it.
I don’t think people will stay put and never travel again, but I do think that they will travel less far and travel more domestic and shorter distances. People will continue playing it safe for a while and the further to the unknown you go, the less sure you can be that you won’t get or spread “The virus” so it makes sense not to rush around the world.
Home sweet home
Just being home has become more and more attractive. I do still miss certain things like the salad in restaurant Teatteri in Helsinki city centre where I used to go on my lunch break. I also notice thinking more and more about “if I ever get to do that again”, so something has changed. This current “normal” is so stuck in your head already that you start remembering what it used to be like and reminiscing the past and “nice” things. Even petty things that you can definitely do without.
You find yourself thinking “that actually it’s quite vain”… Really just going to a concert or restaurant to eat out. I mean you can do without those. Then again, you can do without a lot of things, but all these “nice things”, consuming and seek of pleasure and “good feeling/atmosphere” is what we live for. We humans just do that naturally and I don’t think we will ever stop seeking pleasing experiences and stop doing things that make us feel good.
But for now I have learned to like just being home and when we do get to go to a restaurant or a small concert again after all this time I will embrace those moments and support the people who do them. They do make life so much more pleasurable and fun!
What I will though continue doing is evaluating everything material that I buy with the following criteria;
- Do I really need this?
- Can I live without this?
- Is this a good quality product that won’t break in first use?
- Is there a more sustainable alternative?
- Do I really need this :)?
So at least my mind set has changed . How has yours changed?
* My headline “day” count begins from the day WHO started making official situation reports on the 21st of January.