Covid Anniversary Blog

It is my sincere hope that this will be the only time that the ISR blog marks the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Certainly things do look positive – at least here at home.

The UK has been riding high in the vaccine charts since January and the anticipated full capacity crowd at the indoor world snooker championships this weekend, indicates that we may well be on course for a resumption of our ‘normal lives’.

Of course the big question now is ‘what is normal?’

The anniversary blog and the associated ‘Anniversary Edge Talks’ suggests that we can all expect at least some aspect of our lives to be permanently altered – in both good ways and bad.

Over the last two months, the blog has highlighted a number of things.

First, that lockdown, although intended to make us ‘safe’… it is also inherently unsafe.

The last year has exposed digital poverty and its cascading impact on educational attainment for those already in deprivation.

The impact on the economy, particularly the arts, hospitality and tourism is likely permanently to reshape these sectors.

The pandemic has also created a ‘gender gap’ and increased reported incidences of domestic abuse.

Our civil liberties have also been curtailed in a way that would have been unimaginable 50+ weeks ago. Fake news, and the lack of constructive opposition on the handling of the pandemic have also left many of us feeling frustrated.

Add in the sense of ‘history repeating’, and we have felt out of control; without a voice.

Yet the blog also illustrates that the altering of practices to adapt to lockdown has had some silver linings. Third sector groups, churches and businesses have all had to innovate to stay alive, in many cases with surprising and positive results. Many of us have learned to ‘switch off’ and take up new hobbies and interests, ‘discovered’ TV’s golden age and got active!

We have also seen that the world doesn’t stop because of a pandemic, as illustrated by the escalation of hostilities in the former Soviet Union and the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal. Covid-19 clearly is no respecter of global events.

Thus as we move into the recovery phase, the blog will continue to reflect on the long-term impact of the pandemic, both positive and negative, economically and socially.

Alongside the blog will resume the showcasing of research and knowledge exchange outcomes from Edge Hill academics and partners, and comment on current events.

So for now, we are signing off what I hope will be the final Covid-19 ISR blog, with a big thanks to all our contributors and readers.

Here’s hoping for the belated start of the ‘roaring 20s’!

Prof Jo Crotty is Director of the Institute for Social Responsibility and a Professor of Management at Edge Hill University. This piece is written as a follow-up to a post originally published in the COVID-19 blog on 1st March 2021 by Jo which can be found here.

Image by RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ from Pixabay