The ‘Saturday shop’, the weekly routine for most working individuals and families only a few weeks ago, feels like ancient history. As the new normal set in, it created a huge chasm between the new reality and life BC (Before Corona).
As with any looming crisis, the first signs of uncertainty created fear among populations used to having plenty, which was expressed through panic buying. Scenes of shopping aisles, swept off anything you could get your hands on, were coupled with chaos sequences from outside pharmacies, as people desperately tried to pile up on medicine, masks and sanitizers.
After panic, life under lockdown started to take shape. Shoppers’ patiently queuing to get into a shop while killing time by starring into their mobile but also reading papers or books are now common. Some dress down, as work for most is done from home, while others dress up, as if to defy the curfew on social gatherings. The mask continues to be the symbol of this crisis. At first, they were utilitarian, increasingly, they’re DIY, ranging from functional to outlandish.
While we are all in this together, the real heroes of this story are the supermarket staff and all other key workers. Uniformed security guards police supermarket entrances on a one-in-one-out basis, like in nightclubs. Take away food deliverers are also protagonists as well as new emerging symbols of this extra ordinary time such as clapping to show gratitude to NHS workers.