• Kyra Radcliff

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


love clichés – within limits, of course. The recent announcement that a vaccine is around the corner that will possibly put an end to the COVID crisis reminded me of two – it’s darkest before dawn, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Why the first, you may ask? Here in the UK – okay, I’ve revealed a big clue about me, i.e., where I live – we are entering into further lockdowns. The Netherlands is going into full lockdown. I suspect it’ll get worse before it gets better. What’s fascinated me about the crisis is the way we humans have reacted to it. Most, I believe have taken sensible precautions including social distancing, et cetera. Some have chosen to believe that they are invincible with the virus bouncing off them like bullets off Superman. Still worse, some have even chosen to delude themselves into trusting conspiracy theories that the entire crisis is a hoax by the government. Hmm.

What will happen, I’m willing to wager is this. As the vaccine begins reaching the masses, our guards will come down. We will begin to relax. The hapless business world will start opening their collective brick and mortar doors. The virus may spread even more rapidly. It’ll get worse before it gets better.

For me personally, being one of the fortunate few whose job entailed working from home even before the pandemic struck, the only sufferance was the inability to travel to exotic destinations. I’m looking forward to the vaccination. I trust the pharma giants that tell us that it has 95% efficacy and for the few unfortunate few, the cure is also available in abundance.

Am I too trusting? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

What I don’t believe are governments trying to convince us that it’ll be all sorted, hunky-dory in a matter of weeks, at the worst three months. Bah humbug, to coin a festive phrase. Logistics being what they are, the lack of adequate refrigerated trucks, the efficiency of said organisations, the blind panic that will ensue, the greed of those who feel entitled to get it first, the businesses that need to trade in order to survive – they will all ensure that it will take much longer. Perhaps by next Christmas, we will begin to see the new normal.

Why new normal?

"We will lose weight – the majority of us having put on several pounds thanks to isolation"

Things will never be the same again. There are those of us that will continue to wear face masks. For instance, years after SARS, I witnessed many (mostly Asians) who wore face masks while travelling, particularly by flight. I may well do so too – I once caught pneumonia while flying back to London from Dubai. Healthcare workers will take precautions for a long, long time. I daresay the business of checking temperatures will continue. Border checks, already burdened by the impact of terrorism, will have added controls to verify that viruses are not being carried.

I kid you not. I remember a time when there was no airport security. I remember a time when people could see off their loved ones at the gate. I remember a time when I could board a flight without even a driving licence in the US. I even remember a time when I sat in a cockpit as a passenger.

Things change. We just get used to it. Millennials will probably read this and wonder and think – say what?

Life will also improve. Anything that doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. Dang. I knew that there were more than just those two clichés. We will be stronger. Businesses will be more efficient because they’d have come to realise that the majority of the workforce don’t need to come to the office. Travel costs will reduce as they’d have come to realise that businesses can still run without top executives racking up frequent flyer miles by the millions. I used to have a gold card like George Clooney’s character from Up in the Air. These days, I’m lucky to make four international trips a year and they’re all holidays, not business trips.

We will lose weight – the majority of us having put on several pounds thanks to isolation. We will get healthier, eat healthier, get more exercise, value the time we have with friends – except the Australians – I don’t think they ever stopped partying.

There will be light at the end of the tunnel – it’ll be brighter, but before we get there, it’ll get darker, murkier, and dangerous like the last step off a tightrope – ever been on one?

To my fellow countrymen – Happy Christmas and an even Happier New Year. To the rest of you, A very, very MerryChristmas and a Happy and Very Prosperous New Year. Party on but be sensible. See family but within guidelines and the safety of your bubble. And try not to make it worse with the holiday weight. God bless.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings. Even writing this piece has made me feel better. Hope it does it for you too.

Stay safe.


Kyra Radcliff