#COVID19Chronicles-16: April 30, 2020: Back to some good old ways?

While we sat at dinner last night, I said “Looks like we are going back to the future.” My daughter looked puzzled and asked “You mean back to the past?” I explained that it means looking to our past to find things to help us advance.

It’s funny to see what’s coming back into fashion during the pandemic and life shut in and staying home.

Hand washing and sanitization never went out of fashion, but few knew how to do it well or the importance of doing it often and maybe for everything with which we came into contact. To exaggerate, everyone and their mothers posted a video on YouTube showing us how to scrub hands for 20 seconds, even with the right song for the right amount of time.

As practical, has been the new habit of spraying with alcoholic mixes, which have been shows to kill the novel Coronavirus. Wearing gloves, especially when handling things outside the home has also become one of the new habits.

Ice cream delivery was not something especial in many communities, whether in Jamaica, as a boy, when we would hear a man ringing his bell and riding his bicycle. Back then, we called him ’Fudgie’, as one of the popular offerings was a fudge popsicle; nice and creamy.

As I wrote last weekend, we were all cock-a-hoop when we heard the chimes of an ice cream truck coming along our street and we were lucky enough to get our share, duly masked up and buying from a socially-safe distance.

Lining up for ice cream sundaes on a Sunday may be a thing of the past
Traditional ice cream seller on a cycle, still seen in some places in Jamaica

But, we’ve gone away from the redefinition of convenience shopping–everything in one place and stacked as high as we can see, to a good array of fruit and vegetables in a box that we can browse or have pre-selected and collect ourselves or have delivered to our homes.

One idea whose time might have come again is the drive-in movie, where people would not be in close proximity to any and everyone, but maybe with their friends and family, duly vetted and sanitized. We could be sitting a car’s width apart, and our meals or snacks and drinks would be brought to the car, or we carry our own, which we cannot do nowadays, except for the snacks we habitually sneak in 🙂

Maybe, working from home is the biggest move backwards for many, who saw the house being the centre of life in a real sense to its being so only in a notional sense. The house has once again become the centre of the universe and many are now exploring it to the fullest, at the funniest, the living room is now really where people are living a lot of the time.

It’s early days, but I suspect we’ll see more exploration of ways of doing things that we thought had had their time. We didn’t stop them because they were bad ideas, but seemed to be less convenient. Now, we have to reconsider what that word means.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)