If you have Google Photos, a montage of past photos is slipped into you every day. Sometimes I push the button, but most days I ignore it. For the past week, I’ve been taking a trip back in time every day. We were in Paris three years ago. Perhaps the trauma of Covid filled me with the desire to look at these pictures from another time.
We had dinner with friends this weekend, and one of them remembered that the only time in our history that life took on such epic levels of daily fear was in Britain in 1945. One day, a bomb could wreak havoc on your entire neighborhood while you are quickly running out of provisions. Britain was bankrupt. Fear pervaded the streets daily as devastation and daily uncertainty became routine. Different from Covid, but also similar. Covid is silent; you could say it was worse.
The world is traumatized. The United States fared better than most as I watch our city come back to life. Others around the world are not so lucky. So much has changed and a lot is changing, but a lot seems like a strange return to normal.
Our conversation was positive but cynical. We all understood the trauma we went through, the silver lining of friendships and the recognition of mental health problems, but where is this going? By looking at important historical events, we can point out changes that have occurred over time. Nothing happens overnight, but when you look back, you keep noticing how much has actually changed.
Summer will prove to be a breath of fresh air where, hopefully, people will break out responsibly. But the financial gap has widened, many have lost family members, systemic racism has been widespread in our country from day one and is now finally shining brightly on every kitchen table. Companies will struggle for a while to find new models. Younger generations have seen one of the strangest social experiments on themselves in anyone’s life, and pets are everywhere. Where fashion is going, as it has always reflected history, what restaurants become and our living spaces have become even more important. DIY continues to grow and the return to our basic needs like baking bread, growing plants and slowing down is intensifying.
The bottom line is that all of this will echo for years to come. The question arises as to how it will feel in the years to come.