Will Paris be the same after the pandemic? Will travel be the same after the pandemic? What is the same? Do we want “the same”?
In some cases, we probably do. Keeping with the Paris analogy, we probably want to experience some things about it just as we remember them, just as they were in The Before. As I like to refer to life before COVID-19.
Maybe we even need that.
But first, Paris needs to be a place that supports and takes care of its own, vaccinates its population and gives access to those who already call it home. So they can enjoy life outside of lockdown which has been far stricter for them than for many of us in the USA. As Lindsey points out, it is a living city full of real people that still exists without visitors even though in many ways it needs tourism. It’s still a rose. But depending on when we can next see it, it might not be exactly as we remember it. And we need to be ok with that.
And yet if there’s one lesson to be learned from this pandemic, it is that much of our lives - or elements of them - were due for some change anyway. We need a more just and fair society for individuals and the planet, more time in nature and less in the office, more responsible tourism and less that does damage to communities, better pay + treatment for all who are considered essential to society… and so much more.
Our lives may return to “normal.” But hopefully when this is “all over,” we’ll live every part of our lives - and we’ll imbue our communities - with more equality, more intentionality & more kindness.