Lifestyle

Pandemic v pingdemic – how life now compares with this time last year

Travel

Pandemic
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction: you must stay at home,” Boris Johnson implored, on March 23 2020, earlier than itemizing 4 causes you had been allowed to go exterior, none of which, inexplicably, was “to get some sun in the Balearics – you deserve to flirt with a handsy waiter called José.”

Flights had been floor to a near-halt. Heathrow usually has about 600 planes touchdown a day, however in lockdown it was 60 – and half of these had been Rita Ora. Then, weirdly, summer time got here and we had been allowed overseas. On July 6 2020, 111 days after the Foreign Office warned towards overseas journey, British holidaymakers had been out of the blue in a position to go to most of Europe, plus the Caribbean, with no need to isolate on return. The much-heralded summer time of staycations didn’t actually materialise.

Pingdemic
Owing to Test and Trace including jeopardy to every day – plus the maddeningly altering visitors gentle system of inexperienced, amber and purple for what’s required on departure and arrival relying in your vacation spot – the norm within the pingdemic is to have eight completely different abroad holidays booked, then needing to cancel seven of them, earlier than lastly deciding it’ll be safer simply to seek out the one campsite with house in the complete nation (a farmer’s area in Kidderminster, £112 per pitch) for every week enjoying Uno within the rain with your in-laws. Happy holidays.

Politicians

Pandemic
The strongest individuals within the nation, struck down and compelled to isolate, leaving us leaderless after we want them most.

Pingdemic
The strongest individuals within the nation, struck down and compelled to isolate, leaving us leaderless after we want them most.

Socialising

Pandemic
It occurred in levels. House Party (keep in mind that app all of us used as soon as?), then Zoom quizzes, then Zoom calls, then chatting to our neighbours for the primary time in 11 years. Then, from June 18 2020, individuals in England might meet outdoor in teams of as much as six individuals from completely different households – basically that means a giant night time out concerned consuming heat, tinned gin and tonics within the park and having to urinate in patches of stinging nettles.

Then got here July 4, when pubs and eating places opened, and we might meet indoors and even keep over with one different family. A probably ill-advised Eat Out To Help Out summer time adopted, earlier than that mad Scotch egg rule got here into drive, after which one other lockdown began. Christmas, you’ll recall, was cancelled.

Pingdemic
Pubs, eating places, nightclubs – all open, some with none caveats, others with the specter of Covid passports hanging over them. Going out is fraught with hazard, although. The illness nonetheless lurks, however maybe extra doubtless is that you just’ll pay for these few pints with the inevitable trill of Test and Trace. That smug little purple circle with a quantity inside, pulsing with buzzkill power: ‘You must self-isolate for X days.’

As a consequence, you both threat it or cancel the whole lot with a view to wait on your PCR check to reach, earlier than preserving your self recent and sanitary for a much bigger plan – a vacation, a household occasion, a marriage, a birthday – additional down the monitor. The solely problem is you’ll positively be pinged after these, too. We waited months to socialize once more, now we keep away from it. C’est la vie.

Childcare

Pandemic
Home education hell. Why aren’t academics paid £1m per year?

Pingdemic
Home education hell, once more. Almost 1 / 4 of pupils (1.7 million) in England had been out of faculty last week, together with 774,000 kids who’ve been compelled to self-isolate due to a case at college – a 32 per cent enhance within the house of every week.

Sport

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