After months of staring at the same four walls, daydreaming about simple pleasures like getting a haircut or a freshly pulled pint, the end of lockdown finally seems to be in sight.
And while many of us will be excited about returning to a “new normal”, when I saw how many guidelines were set to be relaxed in the coming weeks, I couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive. After living with strict rules for so long, the sudden change (not to mention freedom) will be a bit of a shock to the system.
As I’ve said before, it only takes one crowded beach or large gathering for a surge in transmissions to take us right back to where we started – something which became very apparent after Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour event, which was held earlier this month.
I initially thought it was wonderful that the world No 1 had organised a charity event that would give tennis fans a much-needed boost while official ATP matches were on hold.
But then I saw the videos of crowds not social distancing, players hugging at the end of their matches, and some competitors even enjoying close contact basketball games and a spot of nightclubbing in their free time.
The behaviour all seemed very risky and as a result I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that four players had tested positive for coronavirus. First Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki and two trainers revealed they had Covid-19, and then it was announced Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, had also fallen ill. And there are bound to be even more people who we won’t hear about in the headlines.
This just goes to show that we still need to be very cautious, and this pandemic is far from over.
Yes, we all want our local restaurants, cafes and bars to reopen, giving our economy a boost and hopefully safeguarding local jobs. Yes, we want our children to return to school where they can enjoy the education, stimulation and friendship that classrooms provide. And yes, we want parents to be able to go back to work without the stress of juggling childcare and home-schooling on top.
But while we start to slowly get back to our everyday lives, it’s never been more important to still remember to social distance, wash our hands regularly, and follow the guidelines that are in place. I know it will take me a long time to feel comfortable in crowded spaces again!
Looking back over the past few months, it’s amazing to think how quickly we all adapted and rallied together. Now, we have to now adapt again – and do so with a lot of caution.