Another milestone in the further easing of lockdown tomorrow is being met with some trepidation as we contend with variants of the virus.
But as we hope to move forward, it's been interesting to read articles and listen to discussions exploring the new challenges being met by society slowly coming together again.
Yesterday I caught Thought for the Day on Radio Four, presented by writer and journalist Martin Wroe. You can listen to it here (after 50 minutes).
He suggests that we are now entering the 'new awkward'. We've been given advice on how to hug safely, for example. And we are seeing the polarisation of character traits in different responses to the ongoing situation. Some people find rules bring freedom through clarity, while others find they are constraining.
He goes on to describe how the past year has given us an opportunity to consider the future. Was lockdown pressing pause or was it an opportunity for a reset button, he asks. If the new normal is not going to be just a vaccinated version of the old normal, we might need some different ways of living.
One consequence of the past year, of course, has been the rise in dog ownership!
If your new normal features a four-legged companion, you might be interested in hearing Simon Garfield speak about his latest book 'Dog's Best Friend' next Sunday. This is a fundraising event for The Cut in Halesworth. You can join online for free, but donations are encouraged to help support the reopening of this marvellous arts centre. Scroll down for details.
But with many things still in limbo and new behaviours to take on board, some people are naturally feeling uneasy about mixing freely again, as numerous articles about anxiety are addressing.
So I was interested to read a throwaway line in one magazine which stated that research has shown poetry may be a surprisingly effective antidote. Medical sociologists in the USA have been investigating its therapeutic effects in health conditions for the past decade. I haven't been able to discover more details or suggested poems or poets to try. Perhaps we need to devise our own list?!