Our editor says we must learn the lessons of lockdown and be kinder to each other

At some point this will end. Let’s be clear on this – this issue that has dominated our lives for a large part of 2020 will be over.

When will it be officially over, who knows? But history tells us that pandemics come and go – not quickly, but they do eventually end. Let’s hope it is soon and any second or third waves of COVID-19 are managed in a way that minimises human suffering. We will get through it.

There’s no doubt that we are in a far better position than we were in March and April. However, many people have lost loved ones, businesses have been put in peril with some going to the wall and job security is nowhere near as strong as it was at the turn of the year.

But the figures suggest we’re on the way out of it and there are plenty of reasons to be positive.

It’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes but, being a glass half-full kind of person, I have to tried to make the most of lockdown.

My experiences are in no way representative of the whole population – however, I’d like to think that there are a significant number of people who have also been able to take stock of certain things in their lives, have had a bit of time-out from the treadmill they were on and have been able to enjoy the simple things again.

For me, when I look back on this time, it will be the little things I remember. The weather has been glorious which has enabled us to spend much more time outdoors whether that’s having a walk with our children or just reading in the garden.

Or even just having your lunch in the sunshine before heading back inside to do some more work.

Has it made us kinder and more understanding of each other? I’d like to think so, although I can’t be the only one who has sat opened mouthed at the hounding of people in the media and on social media who may have erred but definitely don’t deserve a modern day ‘tar and feathering’.

Speaking as someone who has worked in the media in many different guises over two decades, I have been disappointed with plenty that I have seen.

I understand the pressures that journalists and editors have been under but I think there has been too much emphasis on trying to ‘catch-out’ politicians and medical or scientific experts to fit a narrative, rather than providing accurate information that reflects what is actually happening.

It will be interesting to see what happens as everyone begins to return to work.

I do worry that coming out of lockdown will be equally as traumatic as going in while we adjust to new guidelines and attempt to pick up relationships with colleagues, customers and clients.

There will be a ‘first day back at school’ feel to the early days and bosses will have to be understanding as their staff find their feet again.

It should be short-lived though and I have no doubt there will a great energy around Sheffield City Region over the next few months.

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