Adjusting to a new "normal" - Mal Garnett
Last week a poll undertaken by BritainThinks found that only 12% of people in the UK now want to return to the old ‘normal’ in the UK after Covid-19. As well as making permanent changes to their personal lives, people are keen to see a better society with 60% of people willing to pay more taxes to improve NHS funding. Other priorities include better treatment and pay for essential workers and an economic stimulus that doesn’t just focus on London – and for us in the North, that one is as important as the others.
It’s clear that the pandemic’s disruption is going to cause permanent changes to our world, some will be good, others not so. Although the national tracker of Britain’s mood showed that last week was the most positive yet with words such as ‘happy’, ‘relieved’ and ‘hopeful’ being the most dominant, there’s still a lot of nervousness about emerging from lockdown. 60% of people say that they still feel uncomfortable about returning to bars and restaurants and 40% uncomfortable about going to the hairdressers.
Clearly it's going to take time for us to readjust and rebalance our businesses and a lot of gritting of teeth will be required of those of us in the business community. The good news is that the weekly BritainThinks survey shows an ongoing uplift in confidence which suggests that we’ll see attitudes changing over the summer. So one of the best things everyone can do to help our neighbours in the Lancaster and Morecambe district get through this period is support our local businesses.
When you spend anything, ask yourself where the money will go. Does it support a local family and stay in our region or is it going into the coffers of a national or multi-national business? If ever there was a time for looking after each other, this is it. Spend locally and help our neighbours, villages, towns and city get through these months as we fight to beat the virus.