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LIFESTYLE RECOVERY RESET AFTER PANDEMIC

 People encountering the 2020-21 pandemic restrictions may have ‘entered a time warp’, with distortion of familiar values, especially money and time. Finding a way back through unfamiliar financial terrain could be important.

Covid has created uncertainty and anxiety for many people. They have abandoned, slowed or deferred usual activities. There has been a timeout, allowing relaxation from stressful routines but restrictions may have brought complacency and slack inactivity. With insufficient stimuli, time may have dragged.

Without the usual referent of work days and social meetings, personal time may have become disoriented. Personal goals, such as exercising, dieting, studying, writing, may have been abandoned. Social activities may have been stopped. Some people may have enjoyed their freedom but others may have become relatively inactive.

Deadlines that structured activity, such as grocery shopping, may be cast in a new mould. Spending habits may have been limited by the money supply and when that changes, activities such as clothes shopping, may stop. Many people have adopted emptier more relaxed time schedules. 

Reduced consumption may cause money to accumulate and new activities become possible, such as shopping online, investment in home appliances, furniture, autos or moving house. Acquisitions can seem more momentous during pandemic restriction, because although money is cheaply available, there can be fewer than usual investment opportunities and at higher prices. Time horizons are pushed back by restriction delays and low interest rates may stimulate big item spending. Costs of delaying are tolerable and borrowing over longer periods accepted.

Recovery of participation in high risk activities, such as travel and audience events, may be tentative, with empirical results revealing any remaining hazard. To recover, individuals may set goals to revert to previous activities, or they may want to continue elements of their restricted lifestyle. Resetting of goals with new time and money constraints could bring a more purposeful lifestyle.

Sufficient personal time is available for careful planning. 

Conscious resetting of living parameters affected by pandemic restrictions could enable a brave new start, with goals for relationships, employment, residence, motoring, holidays, health, exercise, diet and education. These could provide structure for taking up the reins of a life that may have been partially surrendered in a previous treadmill-like existence. Pandemic restrictions may have brought new experiences that are wanted to continue. There could be a new awareness of the uncertainty of living, a need for patience and a new sense of owning personal time.

My writing about personal time is at https://martinknox.com 

OPINION: LIBERTY COULD BE REDUCED


Individuals exposed to infection by COVID19 have responded mainly in three ways. They have accepted the risk unprotected, self-protected, or have obtained protection by government restriction of their own and others’ activities. Consequences are not yet fully known but government intervention has already created a precedent for public health policy.
Given a choice between catching a dangerous virus and losing employment, few people would hesitate to stay home. Response to past influenza outbreaks was largely individual, without regulation of individual activity. Regulative response to COVID-19 has attributed new potential for infection but this has not been manifest in all countries. Virulence of COVID-19 has been summarised by Swiss Policy Research as follows.
‘In countries like the US, the UK, and also Sweden (without a lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, overall mortality is in the range of a mild influenza season.’ 
Compared with previous responses to influenza, lockdown in Australia for COVID-19 has had new levels of social control compared with past outbreaks, when it was left to individuals to decline risks, or accept them with mild social sanctions. Unless COVID-19 is significantly more virulent, social and economic consequences of government protection seem disproportionate to other influenza treatments. Perhaps public health care has advanced and people expect better protection nowadays. Ordinary influenzas nevertheless continue to kill without social regulation. In Australia in 2017, 4269 deaths from influenza and pneumonia had less social control, whereas in 2020 there have been 103 deaths to June 25 from COVID-19. Protection imposed by restriction of public behaviour for COVID-19 is relatively a loss of liberty, compared with for example: inability to go to work by accepting personal risk similar to crossing the road. Young lives could be stunted. Those who want protection would be free to self-protect at home, especially elderly people who are most vulnerable. Supposing that COVID-19 hangs around for repeat seasons, or new virulent viruses arrive, the regulation of the many, for the benefit of the few, could threaten restoration of society, unless we revert to the kinds of voluntary behaviour that were accepted for so long. When difference in virulence numbers between countries is clear, actions needed could be clearer.
https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

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