Getting back to normal post-Covid

Alex Molton enjoys some previously-adored activities and wonders how these things are different in a post-Covid world.

Audience with hands raised at a music festival and lights streaming down from above the stage. Soft focus, blurred movement.

 

This week I had the incredible, heart-thumping, ear-deafening, soul-soaring pleasure of going to a live music gig; a favoured pastime which I’d not managed since before the Covid pandemic. It was completely, gleeful, wonderful and life-affirming in all of the ways I have always found live music to be.

My favourite place to be

As well as a much-needed night off in fabulous Cardiff – one of my very favourite cities – and the awesome company of my big sis, the night helped to restore a bit of my faith in our shared post-Covid world. With the lights down and the bass turned up to full no-one is worrying about how to pay their bills, increasing knife crime or political upheavals. We are in the moment, feeling the tune, believing the words we shout along with, together feeling the powerful energy of a room full of strangers invested in a shared space in time. Aside from time with my family, it is my absolutely favourite place to be.

This was followed by an equally brilliant but quite different experience – a night out watching the Strictly Live tour. Although the tour includes fantastic live singers and a superb band, it is the dancers – those pros who are actually on the tv – who drive the show, completing incredible routines one after another in a seamless, flawless succession of magical moments, latin va-va-voom and touching, intimate, subtle numbers.

The human experience

Both nights have been an incredible celebration of what it means to be human – the ups and downs, the fragility, the wonder and most of all a reminder of how much we need each other to keep going. Although we spotted a few people wearing face masks and squirting hand sanitiser along the way, sitting on steamy buses and trains, dancing along with others in a sweaty haze and grabbing a pint and burger in the pub – things we used to do without even thinking twice – seem to have fallen off the radar for many. Of course, for most of us finances are an issue (luckily, we booked these treats before the inflation hike of last year) and there are also those who have been left with ongoing health issues post-Covid which mean these experiences might be less possible. However, it’s been so powerful to realise that we can still come together, that in some ways the human experience is not that different than it was five years ago, and that in a 24 hour news world (and let’s face it, with pretty bleak news these days) we can still find pleasure in the things that we love and surrender ourselves to incredible experiences.

Hope in a post-Covid world

As a veteran gig-going and huge theatre fan, it has been a pretty brilliant week. As someone who finds the post-Covid world a little unnerving, who is wary of groups of people and struggles with social anxiety, it was a huge leap forward and confidence-boost. It’s been wonderful to remember the magical experiences of attending live shows, of leaving your worries at the door and indulging in a moment in time which can never be recreated again. It’s also been very healing to see that I can return to the places I have previously loved and get back a bit of the world I loved before the craziness of Covid changed our lives forever. Maybe we are all still healing in our own ways after Covid tore through the world we knew.

Hopefully, there will be lots more of these times to come, of freedom, openness and enjoying being alive. See you on the dancefloor!



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