Before entering lockdown, people were learning new greeting habits as well as gestures intended to help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. Nothing was fundamentally new about these rules. Nevertheless, they questioned established habits.
For a lot of people, this was the starting of losing a sense of predictability. That loss was equivalent with a growing sense of uncertainty.
Once people settled into lockdown, things started to be predictable again. In a way, things felt simple as clear rules were defining who had to stay at home and what their allowed movements were.
Getting used to the uncomfortable came along with simple choices, making it easy to follow.
With more and more countries easing the lockdown measures, a new anxiety appears. It’s learning to deal with the allowed. It is as if we would have to get used again to go out and learn how to do it.
It’s not the same space we used to go to.
Physical distancing rules continue to apply. This means that people have to learn how they will be applied in different circumstances. Take for example large cities used to having well used pubic transport systems which will still take a long while until they can get back to something close to their previous capacity. Or take all the activities people have been used to and which take more or less time until they become accessible again.
It’s a risk assessment, one applied from moment to moment. It comes with a sense of uncertainty.
It’s also an opportunity as it raises the awareness of the other. Connecting with others requires negotiating distances, ways to greet one another, or even touch the other.
It is a journey of re-establishing a culture and going back to a sense of predictability.