I read a wonderful article recently about post-lockdown behaviour. Have you found yourself tutting and flashing your eyes above the mask when someone inadvertently wanders within your 2 metre zone? Saying an audible sarcastic ‘Thank you’ when you have to walk in the road to pass someone? Guilty as charged I’m ashamed to say! However, words from those who have returned from a period in lockdown offer us some advice about navigating our way forward in this post-lockdown world.
Christiane Heinicke took part in a simulated Mars mission on Mauna Loa volcano. For a year, there were no phones, no cars, no money, nothing commerce related. She was there to focus on the science. ‘Everything was straightforward’ she said. ‘At the end, I have to take time to contemplate all the things I hadn’t needed to think about for a year.’
She went on to say that she gave herself time to prepare to re-enter the world which would be louder, brighter and stranger than she remembered. Having to turn her filters back on after they had been off for a year in isolation would take time.
‘Re-emerging into the world made me realise how many choices there are. You can say ‘Actually, you know what, I don’t need this technology. I don’t want an iPad.’
So what advice would Heinicke give us preparing to leave lockdown?
‘Coming out of isolation takes a physical and psychological toll. It’s normal to find that you are really tired, so give yourself time and space. The filters take time to return, so be patient with yourself and others. You may have forgotten what it’s like to have to deal with other people.’
‘Isolation is a beautiful opportunity but, it’s also a trauma, so take your time – give yourself a lot of patience and consideration.’