The Guardian

Life after Covid: will our world ever be the same?

From cities, to science, to politics, six Observer writers assess how a post-pandemic world will emerge into a new normalCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage
LifeAfterCovid Composite: Alamy, Getty

Cities

Here are some things that the pandemic changed. It accustomed some people – those whose jobs allowed it – to remote working. It highlighted the importance of adequate living space and access to the outdoors. It renewed, through their absence, an appreciation of social contact and large gatherings. It showed up mass daily commuting for the dehumanising drain on energy and resources that it is.

These changes do not add up to the abandonment of big cities and offices predicted by more excitable commentaries, not a future of rural bubbles and of tumbleweed blowing through the City of London, but a welcome shift in priorities. There will always be millions who want to live in cities and millions who want to live in towns and villages, but there are also those for whom these are borderline decisions, with pros and cons on each side.

These decisions might be based on life changes, such as having children. If you no longer have to go to an office daily, you can live further from the city in which it is placed. If the magic spell of the big city, which kept people in the tiny and expensive flats that now look so inadequate, is broken, then you might consider living in cheaper, more relaxed locations that hadn’t occurred to you before. Those ex-urbanites, still valuing social contact and public life, might seek towns and small cities rather than a lonely cottage in a field.

Such changes could help to address, without the pouring of any concrete or the laying of a brick, the imbalance in the nation’s housing that was at breaking point before Covid.

Sie lesen eine Vorschau. Registrieren Sie sich, um mehr zu lesen.

Mehr von The Guardian

The Guardian4 min gelesenAmerican Government
The 10 Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Donald Trump
Ten Republican members of the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, making it the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in US history. The break with the president stood in sharp con
The Guardian6 min gelesenPolitics
'Kids Can Handle Hard Truths': Teachers And Their Students Reckon With Capitol Attack
Fifteen-year-old Sevan Minassian-Godner’s brain struggled to process the images of violent, pro-Trump insurrectionists defacing the Capitol. The scene reminded the Berkeley high school sophomore of a movie, maybe the Hunger Games. Not the unbreakable
The Guardian4 min gelesenAmerican Government
Anywhere But Washington: An Eye-opening Journey In A Deeply Divided Nation
Oliver Laughland, US southern bureau chief: It was somewhere along the 700-mile night-time drive from Tampa, Florida, to my home in New Orleans that I realized filming the Anywhere But Washington series was becoming one of the hardest assignments in