In the first 6 months of 2020 we’ve witnessed; the COVID-19 pandemic tear apart families, the #BlackLivesMatter movement rightfully tear open the conversation of micro and macro racism here in the UK, a young footballer take-on the Government to fix the UK’s humanitarian issue in order to feed families who are struggling during the pandemic – We have witnessed a re-direction of life.
Change has crept into even the most everyday tasks, for example – walking into a shop without having to queue or follow guidelines before getting served is now a vague memory of the past.
It’s a well known fact amongst my family and friends that one of my pet peeves is queuing up for anything. Call me dramatic or whatever but I believe it’s the busy body in me and also the fact that feels like a punishment, like time is literally being robbed from me. During COVID-19, the longest I queued up for to get into a supermarket was two WHOLE hours. Even till today, thinking about it still gets me…
‘Pop to the shop’ they said. This phrase no longer has a ring to it, because it’s just a lie. Now, you have to factor in the queuing time, having to remind someone that there a queue as they try to push in line, a security guard that is not paying attention to his own ‘1 in, 1 out’ rule and factor in the possibility of the supermarket not even having what you want? Whewwww?! I remember there was one week I couldn’t find baking powder ANYWHERE. I just wanted to make little old banana pancakes – but it seemed like everyone else was having their own Mary Berry moment too. I eventually found some randomly in Old street, Shoreditch. This is an area associated with live music, after parties and in general wild nights – however for me it will now be known as the area I found the scarce baking power during the pandemic of 2020. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my ‘new’ normal…
The subtle, yet dramatic changes are all around us. Take the 2-metre rule. My high street is plastered with stickers and spray painted lines. My local Iceland has crowd control barriers that they use for concerts and clubs. Is this all for show though? Because I kid you not, once you get into the shop, citizens still come up in your personal space to grab the milk!
Side note: one change I was expecting (and still waiting) to see, is people queuing up to get on the public buses. This act is mandatory when you’re in areas just outside London like Morden, Sutton, Canterbury etc. I was in my early teens when as I was about to step up to the bus, a women tapped me and said “Excuse me young man? There’s a queue”. I didn’t even care that she’d mistaken my gender, at that moment just I couldn’t wrap my head around queuing up to get on a bus. To the naked eye it was so orderly yet abysmal.
Anyway, each area to their own – if we haven’t managed to adopt that way of life now when lives literally depend on social distancing and order ? It is clearly just not in our ‘Inner City London’ nature to queue for buses! Anyway, where was I…
Right, yes I’ve seen face-masks in many different shapes and sizes. I even saw someone using a plastic bag to cover their face once. Breathing wise, not the smartest decision but I respect it – protect how you can my G! *spuds the air* These masks have become a fashion statement, I’ve seen people matching face-masks with their coloured laces! Taking me back to the swag of the 2000’s, WE LOVE TO SEE IT!
This is now the scenery, I EXPECT to see. From the 15th June, it became mandatory to wear face-masks on public transport. I saw someone walking off the bus without a mask and lord forgive me but I was tempted to SNITCH.
I didn’t even know who I’d actually tell (the mask police, maybe?) But I was just looking at them in utter disgust. But that’s not the point – SNITCH you know! Who actually am I? The Remi of 2019 would NEVER contemplate this.
My point is. THIS IS THE REALITY we are currently living in. You could wear anything on the bus prior to the pandemic, but now there’s a compulsory UNIFORM?
Move over ‘Who’s Jordan again?’ We have a new question in town Who’s ‘normal’ again? And the answer? Well, haven’t you been reading?