Living, coping and observing in the age of Covid
02 Jan 2021:
SAME old, same old. Here we go again. Back on the media roundabout as the familiar format for each year’s beginning is once more regurgitated.
Not even all the shifts in lifestyles forced upon us by the pandemic’s restrictions and changes can bring about a fresh approach.
Editors, producers, writers, bloggers and vloggers without a single new idea or approach among them. Unaware that January 2021 is NOT the same as January 2020. The world was different then.
As it was twelve months before that.
And so on and so on back to when (was there ever such a time?) we decided our own daily destinies and lifestyles; when the media was a source of news and not a rolling self-help guide.
But here we are, forty-eight hours in and already awash in “expert” advice on how to start afresh.
How to lose weight, to thin our thighs, to eat healthily, banish stress. drink less, exercise more, save money, eliminate excess, declutter our homes – and our lives – and generally refashion our dreary old selves in the mold of these bright-eyed, never tired, permanently smiling, pert and perfect super-humans.
The basic message is: “a new year; a new you.”
But why? If this is how we want our lives to be, we would have set out on this road to perfection well before now. Dreary (and dry) January, when all is dark, dank and cold, is no time to summon up the energy for whatever it is we are told will reinvigorate and renew. These are the downtime days, pandemic or no pandemic. Leave us to crank up the heating, cosy down and wallow in our gloom.
We have enough to cope with without taking on the additional stress of changing the familiar. We will learn how to make bread, fillet a mackerel, learn Italian, knit a cardigan, rebuild the kitchen, make marmalade, run a marathon, paint a trompe l’oeil mural or play chess when we are good and ready.
And not a moment before.
Not until we feel the need, are truly interested and, above all, have the mental and physical energy required.
Definitely not when some prattling “influencer” (now there’s a revealing “job” description to ponder on) as good as orders us to join his/her (but it nearly always female) unfathomably large horde of one-eyed groupies. Live and do I say, not as suits you and yours.
Concerned for our welfare and well-being? Is that so?
Self-improvement costs money. We pay, the gurus reap it.
Connect the dots. Inevitably they will lead from the well-promoted “news” of a new book, course, program, video or app to the accompanying product whether it be pay per view or the full package of hardback book, CD or downloadable boxed set.
A lucrative new business has been born; one that needs little more than a laptop or a spare bedroom, kitchen table or perhaps a garden shed. And it reaps mountains of moolah for its practitioners. Little wonder they are forever smiling, caring little that their books and videos will soon be neglected and discarded.
Some may enjoy a longer life than others. But when “normal” life resumes – as it surely will – and workplaces, schools, shops, theatres, pubs, resorts, gyms, cinemas and sports venues reopen, rest assured most of us will revert to how we once lived.
For the vast majority, good intentions and firm resolutions will wither and die. A great pity, for there are more benefits than drawbacks in much that Covid has wrought upon us.
But it was ever thus, resolutions are made to be broken. Pandemic or no pandemic.