The coronavirus has robbed us temporarily of many of life’s great pleasures: from drinks with friends to travelling abroad and trips to the movies. But they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and there’s nothing like a bit of perspective to make you realise that even the stuff you hated perhaps wasn’t so bad after all. Here are three things I appreciate more since quarantine began.
There aren’t many people who enjoy going to the dentist, but one of the most surprising revelations of lockdown is how much I miss the luxury of being able to have a face-to-face appointment. Having been suffering from toothache, the fact that I have had to have treatment over the phone has been something of a wakeup call. Prescriptions of antibiotics are no substitute for a proper consultation, and actually being able to physically enter the surgery this week as practices reopen across the UK has been a reunion I never expected to enjoy.
I have had a fairly rocky relationship with Thameslink over the years. There haven’t been many occasions I have tried to get on a train without it being either delayed or cancelled – or even more annoyingly, delayed and then eventually cancelled. And yet, now that I’ve been forbidden from all but essential travel, there’s something I miss about the ease of boarding a train to London and watching the world go by. As someone who hasn’t yet got their driver’s licence, my movement is limited to walks around the local area. Given that face coverings are to be mandatory on public transport, I worry that even once I am more mobile, the simple pleasure of exchanging glances with strangers will be lost in a sea of masks.
To put it plainly, I’m not a football fan. I used to actively avoid catching any of the seemingly endless matches that my Dad and brothers religiously followed. So no one is more surprised that news that The Premier League is returning to the TV has brought me such comfort. As boring as I find the game, there’s something universal about the sport: it unites people and it can be reassuring to know that so many people are united across the globe. It’s also something consistent and reliable, and scheduled activities are hard to come by these days. And the fake crowd noise is the icing on the cake, a nostalgic nod to a time when we could celebrate en masse.