Opinion: Calling on Lowestoft to carry on with lockdown spirit in the new normal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 July 2020

Lowestoft High Street. Our columnist is calling on the town's people to take some coronavirus lockdown spirit into the

Lowestoft High Street. Our columnist is calling on the town's people to take some coronavirus lockdown spirit into the "new normal". Picture: Nick Butcher

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So, the pubs have opened again, and whilst people have been well behaved, they have poured back to old habits of going out drinking and socialising and spending money.

Lowestoft Journal columnist Phil Aves. Picture: Suffolk County CouncilLowestoft Journal columnist Phil Aves. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Our businesses will be very grateful to see customers returning, whether it’s to get their hair done, have a pint, or going for that retail therapy.

Gosh, it feels good that we are moving back towards a new normal.

But, before we leave behind the last 12 to 14 weeks, we ought to have a little think about what all this has taught us.

It’s long been said that Lowestoft people are great in a crisis or tragedy, perhaps it is our seafaring history that makes us such a caring community when the tide has turned against us, but that when things return to normal (or new normal- whatever that is) we forget all we did in crisis mode and return to our own lives.

There is nothing wrong with doing all the normal things we did before, they are all probably good for our mental well-being and can make us feel better.

But when the chips were down (and the chip shop closed) weren’t we a more caring and thoughtful society?

People went out walking as a family, people helped their neighbours and relatives a bit more, people found that staying home was okay to do.

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People volunteered to help those less fortunate.

Now I think new normal would be great if we could do a bit of both.

Yes, do all those nice things we couldn’t do under lockdown, but also do some of those good things we did to help others.

Volunteer to do something to help. There are still lots of groups set up to help and they need more help now.

Food deliveries are still an issue for some. Our local Food Bank is looking for volunteers to help deliver food parcels to those who need them but can’t get out.

Salvation Army are cooking meals for vulnerable people each week, but need helpers to cook and distribute the food.

Access Community Trust are about to launch a summer family cooking campaign for those on Free School Meals. Could you help neighbours/friends with that?

Some people speak to nobody else all week, could you offer to ring an isolated person once a week to cheer them up?

It doesn’t take long, the pub will still be open, the shop will still sell you what you want, but giving up a little time in our new normal world could make all the difference to someone less fortunate than we are.

So come on Lowestoft, dig deep in your time pockets, and find some spare time to help others - it will make you feel good too.

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