One year of this – whatever this is

I imagine there will be a whole gang of people dusting off their typewriters, as we mark the first anniversary of the Covid-19 lives we lead.

Recording our thoughts, particularly of such an abnormal year, feels important.

A year ago today, I started working from home. A pregnant partner meant I was a taking no chances and immediately followed the developing guidance.

That first day of working from home feels a lifetime ago. I sat on the sofa and worked with a laptop on a cushion. I had 5 Live on in the background. At the end of the day, I was in pain and felt overwhelmed.

Needless to say, a lot has changed since that point.

From a personal point of view: we’ve had the baby and I now have a son, we’ve moved house and I now have an office, and my sister is pregnant and will soon have a new baby.

From a professional point of view, I’ve learned, adapted, worked more flexibly and have grown as a result. I’m part of a smaller, but closer internal communications team than existed at the start of the pandemic.

We’ve learned to work differently, to delegate work, to seize opportunities and to support each other. We’re better for that.

Here are a few reflections on the past year.

Fresh air

Exercise has been at the very top of the list of things that has kept me sane. Any time I have struggled, felt frustrated or overwhelmed, or needed an energy boost, it’s been exercise that has delivered it.

During lockdown one, I walked in the afternoon sun most days. It made such a difference, and I can feel the same endorphin boost, now the light nights are returning.

Nothing else comes close.

Your story is your story

Each and every one of us has struggled during the past year. But we’ve probably struggled at different times and for different reasons. We might not even know why.

That’s fine. It’s important. We are all different and have different emotions, triggers and breaking points.

We can’t claim to understand all of these, but what we do is recognise this different, and ensure we tailor our behaviours accordingly.

This is especially important in a world where our views can be taken as defining us. It’s a world where discussions no longer allow for ambiguity, complexity or difference of opinion.


It’s a word we use a lot now, and it has many meanings. Put simply, we’ve all had to be more flexible than we ever imagined. We’ve had to be more creative and be better problem solvers.

We’ve done it. Our friends have done it. Our colleagues have done it. Even our favourite restaurants have done it.

It’s a real positive, and long must it continue. We know we won’t be returning to the life we had before. To make the most of it, we need to continue in the same spirit, not try to emulate what went before.

To me this means continuing to use new technology, working in different ways, having different outlooks, and again prioritising empathy and understanding.

Now, what will the next year bring?

I can only imagine.

Says it all

Published by Ian Curwen

Communications professional and a bit of a foodie that wants to travel more. Sharing my observations on life.

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