The return of a small number of children to a small number of classes in a limited number of schools has excited a good deal of comment and speculation. The schools are taking extraordinary measures to make the new system work, parents have a range of views about the safety and practicality of those measures and everyone else is watching (sometimes incredulously) the lengths everyone has gone to.
As lockdown slowly lifts and more businesses open, the reality of our future lives starts to become clearer. And there seem to be more questions than answers at the moment. Looking at the example being set by schools (limiting numbers, no contact between ‘bubbles', staggering of lunch and playtimes, regular deep cleaning to name but a few), should businesses be considering taking similar steps? Is that even realistic?
Certainly, we know from shopping and other day-to-day activities that it is difficult to maintain social distance when in public places. How will it work in the workplace? And how will it impact our ability to behave and conduct business normally? Whilst we can have meetings and conversations without being in the same room, there are many elements of business, manufacturing and technology which don't allow distance and for which we need to find safe alternatives.
More than ever, we need to be thinking about how to adjust for both the medium and the long term. How can we work with clients and customers without putting them or ourselves at risk? How can we improve our virtual offering? How can we exchange ideas and make new contacts? How can we ensure that we keep the benefits of reduced travel and lower consumption whilst pushing our project forwards? I know from the many phone calls and emails I receive every day, that people are certainly being very creative in how they approach this new normal - on the whole with positive results - and that is something we will all have to get better at.
Like school staff, members of the Pluralists Club are working as hard as ever and finding ways of doing things which we had never considered before. Some work, some need adjustment but the important thing is to keep trying, keep developing, keep taking account of the changing landscape whilst being ready to take a step back if necessary. We remain flexible and committed whilst maintaining our curiosity .... much as we always have.