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Reflecting on a pandemic year

Reflecting on a pandemic year

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I’ve been feeling a bit reflective recently, so thought I’d jot down the things that sprang to me as ‘learning points’ over the past year.

There will be more. The order isn’t significant. There’s a blend of work and personal. But just getting this list down has helped me organise my thoughts a bit.

  1. Homeschooling is different to emergency education at home.
  2. Being at home during an emergency and trying to work is not the same as working from home.
  3. Clapping nurses was nice for two weeks, then became performative.
  4. Chickpeas basically go with anything.
  5. So do potato waffles.
  6. Frozen cherries are better than ice in a gin.
  7. There is a lot to be said about the curious snacks in the Polish shop.
  8. Going to the cinema was more fun than I realised.
  9. That couple of weeks without any cars on the roads was glorious.
  10. The vanity around haircuts was surprising.
  11. “Chis” stands for covert human intelligence source.
  12. I miss live music more than I thought. Live-streamed music events were a tonic. Stream DISCO
  13. My feet forgot what shoes were for a while. I was glad of the garden during that stage.
  14. Cat colleagues make the best colleagues (see pic)
  15. Related: when an outdoor cat becomes an indoor cat you realise just how many furballs they cough up.
  16. There’s no way skinny jeans will ever be happening again. I’m ok with it.
  17. Despite clearing out loads of junk, I still have a lot of junk.
  18. I didn’t get the banana bread obsession. Still don’t.
  19. I am a lark and an owl. I am not a [whatever is most active in the afternoons].
  20. I want to be drunk in a field with friends again. That is very important to me.
  21. I miss spontaneity.
  22. You can walk almost anywhere if it doesn’t matter what time you arrive. And if you have the right shoes on.
  23. Binge-watching is really the only skill I have honed. But I am world-class at it.
  24. Nobody really understands what R is.
  25. There is a clear need for good graphic design in emergency response.
  26. That pandemic planning we had done has been immeasurably important, even if the government decided at the first juncture to chuck the plan in the bin.
  27. Doomscrolling is real. I had to learn on several occasions to just put my phone down.
  28. There’s joy in simple pleasures. I’ve now got a favourite local tree.
  29. We need to be better at learning ‘as we go’ rather than debriefing at the end. We need to be better at debriefing at the end too.
  30. People can come up with very creative quiz rounds when required.
  31. Local communities are great in a crisis, but turf wars with neighbours intensify.
  32. I despise voicemail but love a WhatsApp voice note.
  33. The thought of social interaction makes me a bit anxious.
  34. Time is elastic. I have no idea what day of the week it is. Blursday?
  35. Figuring out that I have an onion intolerance was useful and unexpected.
  36. I think I might be a hugger.
  37. I can waste a lot of time watching people doing stupid shit on TikTok.
  38. Lots of people have adapted to crisis quite well, but there are pockets that have struggled. We should focus future planning efforts on helping those who need help most.
  39. Being able to talk about work stuff in a non-worky way is important. The sideline chats in the kitchen, the after-work drinks. They are valuable.
  40. There is global overuse of the word unprecedented.
  41. Bad emergency management decisions have been made which could have been avoided if an entire profession hadn’t been gaslit. No doubt other professions will feel similarly.