Back to ‘normal’

Life seems to be going back to normal, well at least the new ‘normal’. It started off with shops, retail opening again, the crazy queues outside Primark- which feels like years ago- and eventually everything else followed opening up too. We could finally enjoy a meal out, after scanning QR codes and finding menus online or talking to someone through a perspex screen or mask. Its taking a while to adapt to this new ‘normal’, life seems a bit alien at the moment.

I thought i’d share some of my new, weird experiences as a sort of reassurance (to myself really) that everyone is feeling a bit weird about it too and i’m not just being dramatic; maybe i am? The first experience i want to talk about is the shops. Granted, i was going on the food shops occasionally during lock-down so i had a vague understanding of how one way systems were working, limits on how many people were allowed in the shops and obviously, mask wearing. What i’m confused about is how some shops are very strict on the social distancing, the limits of people and the one way systems but, other shops don’t seem to reinforce anything? There seems to be a wide variety of ‘strictness’ from shops which is confusing because some shops i can sneak into an aisle i forgot about but in others, i’ll get told off by a Karen worker! The city center reinforces mask wearing a lot, i’d say 80% of the people i’ve seen in CMK are actually wearing a mask. However, i’ve seen some interesting forms of mask wearing, we’ve got:

  • The Pinocchio, the typical ‘i cant breathe in my mask’ nose poke
  • The chin strap, not even trying to cover anything, mouth out an’ all
  • The accessory, a new fashionable earring, a variation of the chin strap
  • The wristband, not even on the face, at least make an effort!
  • The plastic bag, my personal favourite. a literal plastic bag over your mouth, A for effort.

I have also gone back to work, well i use the phrase ‘back to’ very loosely. I had got a job back at Mcdonalds back in March, i had my ‘day one’ to introduce me to the job and then… lock-down happened before my first shift. Not ideal. But, i’m finally ‘back at’ or starting work and i’ve been really enjoying it. Obviously, work places have adapted to the current issues so, i’m wearing a mask at all times, there are dividers between different stations, there are a limited amount of people in the kitchen and there are ‘one person only’ zones such as the crew room so those on break can eat without their masks on (duh). It is odd going to work in these times, i obviously don’t know how it was before corona so i can’t create a comparison but, the procedures in place make it feel like a very safe place to work. A lot of people have gone back to work by now, after having almost six months off its very scary going back to ‘normal’ and obviously, there is a higher risk as you’re in more social bubbles but, its necessary to go back to he new ‘normal’ at some point.

School. Another new ‘normal’ we’ve had to adjust to. Let me describe it as clearly as i can. I am in school for 3 days, each day is a different subject: Monday = art, Wednesday = English etc. each of these lessons is a different bubble so, i move between three classrooms a week with different people. I’m in for 5 hours from 8:45-2:35 so its shorter than a normal school day but, i get shorter break and lunch periods. I’ve found it quite difficult to stay motivated and productive for the full 5 hours of one lesson. Before corona, i had 5 hours of each subject a week, one hour of each subject a day with two free periods. I do miss the free periods as a mental break, but its not awful or unbearable. I do admit that i’m doing more work in school than in lock-down so it is forcing me into ‘school mode’ but 5 hours of English Lit is A LOT of information in one day, especially as we have started two new books so i get very tired on a Wednesday!

Everything just feels alien at the moment, rules are constantly changing and its completely unprecedented. Its a scary time, honestly. But, we are all getting through it the best we can and that’s what matters at this point. Its a common theme that connects us all as everyone is experiencing it, its sort of reassuring in that way as it doesn’t matter if you’re rich, intelligent, old, young, its a global experience.

Zoe :))