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The Influencers

I'm Not Buying This 'New Normal' for a Second

With the UK government set to announce its roadmap out of lockdown, Kode partner and head of business Dan Mallerman yearns for the return to the office

I'm Not Buying This 'New Normal' for a Second

I write this looking at a washing basket full to the brim with clean clothes that’ll only need to be washed again, and the laundry basket fit to burst. Sheets that the dog pissed on, maybe out of boredom, maybe as a protest but certainly out of spite. Toddlers clothes that seem to multiply when wet like a Mogwai, and two cats that leave furballs lying around like landmines, I realise that I need to get back to the office.

The announcement today is unlikely to provide me with the information that I need and will instead tell us that we’re to remain WFH for the foreseeable, information that fills me with the same sense of joy that administering ointment on someone’s piles might – which is to say, in case there is any misunderstanding – none whatsoever.

The concept of time has always fascinated the film director Christopher Nolan; perhaps his next film will be about how every day is a monotonous repetition of the previous one but yet time is flying by – I’m literally dying of boredom – he can call it something like Where The Fuck Did That Shitty Year Go – but he probably won’t.

‘Remember when we went travelling and Terry got mugged by a roaming gang of maccacs with switchblades?’ Has been replaced by remember when we used to be allowed indoors, under a roof, surrounded by four walls. With another human? Or; remember when you had to buy a meal with every pint? Whilst sighing wistfully at the thought of a simpler time. 

What will we do when we are allowed back in the office? Or to meetings? I don’t know if uncontrollably sobbing into each other’s arms will be permittable. Will there be a touching strangers is okay on the Victoria Line amnesty (I can’t imagine anyone wanting to touch someone on the District Line)?

In the future, when we can say ‘that was shite but thank fuck it’s over and everything is so much better now – you know, like Brexit’ how long will it take to forget how terrible this has been, not just on the scale of people dying (obviously) but the day to day? I’m not buying this ‘new normal’ for a second. It’ll be like the person who claims their new diet regime will start on Monday only they didn’t specify which Monday.  

I, for one, will be happy to discard the mask, chuck the sanitiser, now my hands look like gnarled pieces of dried rope, the sanitiser has done its damage. I’ll be happy to shake hands and hug. To touch people, not with the casual abandon of an 80’s TV presenter, without feeling the need to jet wash myself with a Karcher afterward. 

Just not on the District Line.

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