The 24th March 2021 will be the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.

Since then we have been on a roller-coaster, both personally and professionally, and witnessed unprecedented changes to our way of life. Some will be temporary – others will be permanent; but as we approach the anniversary, can we predict which will be which?

In April and May 2020 Edge Hill academics were inspired to write blog pieces exploring the immediate impact of lockdown as it related to their research interests. These pieces looked at a wide spectrum of geographical and demographic groups and explored many areas, from the arts, to autism, politics to prisons, and more. We converted this blog into an online publication and it now stands as both an historic and contemporary account of our immediate response to the pandemic.

Since then a lot has changed. We have gone from the switch to online teaching and the agony of cancelling long held plans (and the associated battle to get our money back), to staycations and Eat Out to Help Out. We have become gardeners, bakers and crafters. We have bounced around tiers, ate Christmas dinner alone, and become ‘experts’ on vaccines, R-numbers and learnt new acronyms; and we all wished we had bought shares in Zoom. Then as 2021 began with lockdown #3, we started to wonder if we will ever get our old lives back.

Yet the impact on some of our research communities has been more profound. Edge Hill has a proud tradition of engaging in excellent, applied research that has direct impact on communities; locally, nationally and internationally. So today we are launching the ISR Covid-19 Anniversary Blog to run throughout March and April 2021. This will explore the effects of the pandemic on our research communities over the past year, and make predictions as to its lasting impacts.

To that end have invited all of the original bloggers to submit an updated piece; asking what they got right, what they got wrong, and their longer-term predictions.

In addition, we are inviting all University staff to submit a piece. What have been the impacts of the pandemic on your field of enquiry? Will these be permanent or temporary? What will happen next?

To accompany the Blog, on the evening of March 24th we have invited five of the original bloggers to present ‘Edge Talks’ on one of five overarching themes, specifically; ‘civil liberties on-loan’, ‘politics of pandemics’, ‘exaggerated inequalities’, ‘the passing of time’ and ‘wither the arts’. This will offer both a wider perspective on the pandemic but also the opportunity to converse with others about your pandemic experience, and those of your research communities.

We do hope that you will both contribute a piece, and join us on the evening of the 24th.

Prof Jo Crotty

Director: ISR

What to do next:

Submit a blog piece: all blog pieces must be approximately 500 words, pithy yet apolitical and submitted via [email protected]. All posts are moderated.

Join us on the evening of the anniversary talks: please click here to register