The things we take for granted

If this period in lockdown is teaching us anything (aside from how patient teachers are, right home-schooling parents!?), it is the number of relatively basic things that enrich our lives that we have all taken completely for granted for a very long time.

Who would have thought that popping round the corner for some milk and bread would have to become at best a military style operation to accomplish safely and at worst something that you suddenly really miss doing and have you counting the days until the next delivery from the supermarket?

Certainly it is a wonderful thing that many of the people who keep the basic building blocks of our society going but are so often taken completely for granted are now getting the recognition they deserve – medical staff, shopworkers and delivery drivers among many others. I really do hope that one of the positives that comes out of this period is a change into the value we place on certain essential professions that have been looked down upon for far too long.

Our freedom to travel when and where we like and do more or less what we like is something we probably gave little thought to until recently. We must remember that in some places even today, and certainly in the past, to travel any significant distance required state issued permits and possibly a small fortune. In my admittedly lengthening lifetime there were many countries whose inhabitants were unlikely to ever be permitted to leave the country even for a brief trip abroad. At least we know that when lockdown ends, likely in a few months at the very worst, the world will be there for most of us to explore once again.

And of course being able to spend time with family and friends. It really is true that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. The human side of isolation is probably what is hitting many people the hardest. The people we choose to spend our time with may drive us absolutely crazy at times, but how badly are many of us missing them now? Again, let’s hope that we value those relationships more moving forward.

In the future, whenever we get fed up with having to go places or see people, let us remember this time when we were all so upset that we could not. Let us learn from this time and appreciate all that we have that we seldom give a second thought in normal times. Let us take a lot less for granted.

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