Imagine if you can, that you have been hibernating in the far end of the chamber at Newgrange all year, wrapped up in the darkness, comfortable with your own forced comfort, and only stirred and woken by the advancing light of that solstice sun making its way like an orange sabre, as if it is setting fire to the dusty floor until it rests at last at your bare foot.
If you are tempted by the warmth of the heat that is suddenly gifted to you, and you follow it back down the chamber from whence it came, you will eventually come to the exterior; and the brightness that will dazzle your eyes will eventually relent and allow you see to see something you have not for a while. You will look around at this strangeness, not knowing what it is you are looking at. With your eyes absorbing rapid light, not knowing who can see you in all your mitheredness and slovenly ways which are part and parcel of the way you have been living for the past while.
For many people, next Monday will be like that. Monday is another one of those days. The end of one phase. The start of another. A time when we will be permitted again. Allowed to do things. We will tune in tomorrow Friday when we will learn the extent of our new freedoms. Monday is another day when we will receive a pat on the head for being so good at sticking to ourselves.
This will be a daunting time for so many people. For our cocooners who have not been permitted wander far from base, they are entering a world that has changed in so many ways. Shopping is not the same experience it once was, dawdling is discouraged, people will not be encouraged to squeeze the loaves or the vegetables anymore to determine their freshness. To add to the confusion, many people will be wearing facemarks so the world they re-enter will seem like something from a movie.
More workers who can socially distance will be able to return to work, employers will implement cleaning regimes, an aura of strangeness will persist. Whether they admit it or not, even the strongest among us will be a bit ring-rusty.
A lot of people will re-enter society from Monday. There will be inevitable confusion and a period of becoming accustomed to the new ways. For that, we should show tolerance to those who may seem overawed by it all. It is ok to offer to help someone who you think might need help. It is ok to take it easy on colleagues, on employees, and employers, as everyone has suffered a sort of loss of what previously passed for their lives. There will be nervous drivers on the road, pedestrians unused to the new freedoms; cyclists unaccustomed to the new spaces that have suddenly become available.
It is time for us all to have a bit of empathy with each other. To allow people to settle to this new world; to sow the seeds for a new way of co-operating in work, in life, in society. The world is a harsh place right now, but if we do our bit, we can make sure that our bit of it stays true to the best ideals of humanity.
— Our own office here at Eyre Square will re-open on Monday from 10am to 1pm from Monday to Friday. Our remote team are still remote, but the customer service staff will be back in the front office, so pop in and say hello to them. We thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives throughout this crisis. Stay safe.