In France, the lockdown ended a week ago …
… here, in Scotland, we are still waiting to know what is the plan (personally, not sure I am looking forward to the end when I see that very few people are wearing masks in supermarkets and the street …).
This let me wonder what could be our interactions in the next couple of months with friends, colleagues and strangers. And if these changes will last or be temporary.
With friends and family, the hardest part will probably be to avoid hugs. It will be even more difficult after this long time without seeing our loved ones.
At work, it is going to be a very difficult period for a lot of business affected by the economical crisis after this worldwide lockdown – and also, depending on the working conditions & interactions are going to be either hell (working with 3years old is the first example which comes to my mind) or effortless (if you are working in an office and can reorganise the space, or still able to work remotely).
The one I am the most intrigued on the long term, is the change of our relationships with ‘others’: is this crisis going to make us closer to each other, foster solidarity OR push us apart even more?
We have noticed during our rare walks in Edinburgh that people we see in the street are keeping their distances, crossing the road to respect the 2 meters distance rule – which is great – however, they are also avoiding eye contact. Like you could catch the virus by looking at someone 5 meters away from you.
It is quite sad as it is the opposite attitude of what we were used: strangers helping you in the street if you were lost, people greeting you when walking in the hills, in the pub you could engage the conversation with strangers very naturally… we felt welcome in Edinburgh: there was no fear or judgement in the eyes of people living here – and we found that this openness was contagious as even the tourists would be relaxed and friendly (* this is my personal view, and it is most probably not shared by everyone).
Unfortunately, since the begging of this lockdown, there is a big switch in the way people interact with each other (* again my perspective only). There is this new fear of ‘other’ (I was familiar with it in France but not here): you can not even expect someone to smile back at you anymore. I am wondering if it might become the ‘new normal’.
Even though I am hoping like most of you that this pandemic could be the trigger of a new and better society where we consume locally, responsibly, where animals & plants are thriving, where the wealth is divided more fairly…
Sadly, just by observing these new behaviours, in addition to the way our governments are handling the crisis, I doubt that it is going to be the revolution we are wishing for.
These thoughts also made me think of what could be new emergent design to encourage to respect social distancing, while still being able to socialise outside of our household.
I started imaging objects and new settings for social interaction.
These are my 3 first ones (more to come) – if you have suggestions of what could be used to distance ourselves from other – please feel free to share your ideas – the crazier the better.
I was surprised when I say that my eccentric ideas, were actually happening in real life when I saw this article on my Facebook feed:
If you speak french:
I would recommend listening to Vincent Lindon text: extraordinary speech on the current situation and the way our politicians are dealing with the situation and some proposals for the ‘after’ – you can try to switch on the automatic subtitles for my English speaking friends.
Also, this text by Titiou Lecoq about the evolution (or non-evolution) of Women’s place in society after the pandemic.
All the GIF have been altered by me.