Unmissable Reads

Date: 8 April, 2020

Stuff we liked

Darius Pasalar

By Darius Pasalar

Senior Strategist

We’re another week in, and these articles are looking at the way we’re living our lives in the day-to-day. Whether these new behaviours are coping mechanisms or just the natural flow of life will be something we’ll only know when we’re finally able to look back on this unusual time of isolation.

For me, there’s a comfort in seeing how people find ways to keep up their day-to-day in these difficult times. For example, my neighbour still keeps parking in front of my house instead of his own. Just because I don’t own a car doesn’t mean I’m running a parking lot, Number 7!

Such, such comfort.

1. Saints and Sinners in the UK

The Guardian’s Lockdown’s hottest viral trends: Raging at the neighbours and torching 5G towers gives an interesting overview of the different trends that have emerged in lockdown.

Joel Goldby’s rough divide of the saints and the sinners poses an interesting new angle on how UK is once more split on opinions and their corresponding behaviours.

There is a divide down the nation, now. First, the Virtuous Saints, who read the government guidelines like a Bible and live by them, and get really arsey with you when you walk slightly too close to them on the pavement even if the pavement is quite narrow and they are right in the damn middle of it…

Then we have the Sinners, people without gardens who go and lie down in a park on weekends when it’s sunny or think a bike ride (which the government still deems “acceptable”) is acceptable.


2. Mobility During Lockdown

Google has released the mobility figures across the globe, and the Irish one makes for a reassuring read. Not because it’s telling us anything we wouldn’t expect, but because it shows what we except to be true. People are staying at home. Thank God.

3. The Queen’s Speech

Before I get into this one, I need to state that I’m originally from the UK and the Queen’s speech is an annual Christmas ritual that I’ve never missed. That doesn’t make me a royalist by any stretch of the imagination – she’s more like a piece of family tradition that ends with ‘oh doesn’t she look for good for her age’ followed by a glass of plonk.

Her address is only the fourth time she’s spoken to the country outside of the Christmas broadcast. It’s a departure from the day-to-day, a mark in the history books of the pandemic, but also a national call to cope as a nation.

Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.


4. Slow Down There, Cowboy

Niamh referenced this article in her piece on slowing down and I’ve shamelessly stolen it. The article is well worth the read, and allowed me personally to let out a sigh of relief for not trying to write the next Moby Dick or Snail and the Whale (two very different books that shouldn’t be confused when it comes to bedtime reading for kids).

Finding small pleasures helps, too. Mr. Bailey offered one suggestion: ‘Get yourself some Indian food and drink a bottle of wine with your spouse. We’re going through a lot and we all just need to take it easy.’


5. What Can We Learn From Zurich Balconies

Being in lockdown has made us all experts of our own homes. All of a sudden having an outdoor space is a luxury that we can all luxuriate in as the weather gets fine. Monocle’s little video in praise of balconies is a wonderful reminder of how good architecture and outside space makes our lives all the better. Be it coping or living, a slick balcony feels like a must.