Trauma: A deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
There were no raid shelters, no deployments, and no constrictions. But we were fighting something. Many fled to the country (though namely those fortunate to have 2nd homes or family there), items became rationed (though again mostly because people started panicking about how many times, they can wipe their bum and apply hand sanitiser in a day) and we sung and clapped our way through the tougher times.
Nevertheless, the Covid pandemic remained and remains a hugely traumatic experience. For many of us, it meant waiting outside hospital doors as friends and family were treated, alone, inside. Or even being in hospitals alone ourselves.
For some, it meant not being able to say goodbye. For others, it meant lost jobs, lost independence, isolation, and illness. Instead of all coming together to fight a common cause, we stayed apart.
But trauma also leads to change. And in this case, it was the staying apart that made the biggest change to society today. The removal of the monotonous energy of the everyday bustle, that seemed all-important, all-consuming not so long ago.
We just hit pause.
So long as we remained well, we had a chance to breathe (and panic about our bank statements) but also to reflect, to see what mattered to us.
For some, the hustle and bustle never stopped, and so to return to it was only natural. But for so many others the pandemic has brought about a surge of independence, personal strength, openness to spirituality, and a general appreciation of what matters to them.
That’s what our society is now fuelled by.
Tech platforms allow the conversion of hobbies into money-making businesses. The creation of an industry fuelled by individualism, and individuals. The jobs market has returned to a state of demand, as people permanently remove themselves from the 9-5 roles that dominated for so long. Instead, people reassessed their priorities, searched for income from alternative sources, small businesses were set up and work-from-home setups and part-time roles have become more normal. Not everyone, but enough to create a wave of changing culture.
But where does sustainability sit in all of this?
That’s the question I want to explore. Has the pandemic helped or hindered our movements toward Net Zero or even Net Negative? Does a culture of individualism and independence encourage greater sustainability, or create a culture of selfishness rather than community?
It’s time to learn more about how the World now looks.