It all seemed so far away when it first started. I hung onto posts about more people dying from cancer than corona. But things changed. They changed fast. Everyones life has been effected. Everyone. It’s scary and everything is uncertain.

The day they announced the schools would close I cried so much. Even now anthing tips me over and the tears spill. Whether it’s sad news or acts of kindness. Everything feels raw. The only comfort is knowing that I am not alone in that feeling.

Like many of you the impact, the unknown, and the possibilities have sent me to dark corners of my mind. For the first time in my life I have experienced the rising feeling of panic, and I have had to make huge efforts to calm myself, stop myself spiralling and look after my mental health.

I’ve felt anger at the people not taking this seriously. I have felt worry for my loved ones. I have felt desperately sad for what my kids and all kids are missing out on.

But what I cling to desperately are the feelings of hope. The good things people are doing. The rainbows I can see in my neighbours windows, and I hope that ours in turn makes them smile. I try and see the positives, the extra time I get with my kids, the fact we have a roof over our heads and money in the bank. The fact we both have jobs that we can do at home.

It’s very hard to imagine the future right now. Will life just go back to normal when this is all over? How will we look back at this time? Will there be a change after Corona?

change after Corona

What I hope will change after Corona…

1 Flexibility at work

Too many parents have their flexible working requests denied because we live in this world of regimented 9-5. I hope that the fact that most of the population are now working from home, that anyone who needs to make a flexible working request for whatever reason will be considered fairly.

Having a family shouldn’t have to be something we hide away at work. Needing to get home for an elderly relative shouldn’t be something we have to apologise for. Wanting to pursue our passions and work hard should be supported.

I really hope if there is one change after corona, it’s that employers recognise that they empower there employees by giving flexibility. Flexible working is proven to improve productivity and profitability. We did it during the Corona outbreak. Why can’t we continue to do it?

2 Respect for teachers

Teaching our kids at home right now looks different for everyone. But we are all united in that we are trying our best for our kids. I hope that this makes people realise how much work teachers do. That their hours extend way beyond the classroom exodus.

And to the parents that barrage the schools with complaints, and challenge any change the schools implement, I hope that your finally see that teachers want the best for your child as much as you do, and they just want to work with you to help your child reach their potential.

4 Better pay for our NHS workers

Never have I been more grateful that we have a free healthcare system and for all the doctors and nurses that work in it. And the thousands of other people that keep our NHS going, from the administration, to the pharmacies, to the care workers.

I cannot imagine what they have seen during this time, and how scared they must be for themselves and their families.

They are undervalued and underpaid and this needs to change after Corona.

5 A change in the way we use social media

Social media can be a horrible place. We have seen how easy it is to spread false information, in a time when we need facts. And just before the Coronavirus changed our lives we saw the start of the #bekind campaign after Caroline Flack took her own life.

Social media is here to stay, but I hope we look back at this time and remember how it kept us connected. How we laughed at the funny memes. How we cried at the kindness of strangers. And I hope that we continue to use it for good. To build each other up, not tear each other down.

6 We make more time for each other

Lives are fast paced and busy. Always places to go and people to see. My life sometimes feels like a whirlwind of after school clubs and birthday parties. (Note the distinct lack of my own social life!)

I hope we take from this time the importance of stopping regularly to make time for one another. To play board games with our kids, to colour in pictures and dance round the living room. To phone people and check in, and to make more time to visit them!

Time is our most valued commodity, and maybe after this we will spend it more wisely.

7 We connect with each other more

It’s crossed my mind that this is one big lesson into how we need to connect more. Look up from the screen and into peoples eyes. To be present in the moment and be with people without distractions.

Never have I wanted to be in a room with my friends and family so much. To hug, to laugh, to see them in three dimension!

If this isn’t motivation to resuscitate my social life, I don’t know what is!

8 Unifies a fragmented country

This country has been fragmented for a long time now. Politics have devided us all.

I watched a live feed from the house of commons today and it was amazing. I watched political parties work together. They listened to each other and took on board what each other was saying. There was no jeering or baying or insults thrown. It was dignified and rather grown up.

It made a refreshing and much needed change.

And it made me think that for all of the anger that has been bubbling for the last few years and the heated debates, that maybe if those in charge set a positive example by their behaviour in the commons it might just trickle down and make people feel like they were listened to.

A unified country would be a much welcome change after Corona.

9 We don’t take things forgranted.

We’ve all had to cancel plans due to Corona. From social get together’s to holidays and celebrations.

I won’t take forgranted being able to see my Mums on Mothers day. Not having to worry if I can get food for my family, Being able to take the kids to the park, my health. At this point I am prepared to never moan about the school run again (although I reserve the right to negate on that one!)

10 Anti vaxers shut the hell up

When they find a vaccine for this horrific virus, my first thought was that they should deny it to all the anti vaxers. But actually, they should get in line with the rest of us, then join another line to get all the other vaccines their kids haven’t had, and stop spouting lies that put peoples lives at risk.

There’s more I could add to this list, but I fear I may sound evangelical or preachy. Maybe idealistic or delusional! But I think we all need a bit of hope right now.

This virus has bought out the best of human kind, and the worst of human kind. We have seen those who are selfless and those who quite frankly couldn’t care less about anyone other than themselves.

But I hope we learn from this time. That we can make positive changes from the dark and scary time we are in right now. That kindness and humour got us through it. That we all have a part to play in making the world a better place. That there will be change after Corona.

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Claire Kirby

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