The great escape as lockdown eases - or not | Nicola Adam column #supportlocal

When a caged animal is freed it rarely leaves straight away, instead tentatively sniffing the  air or making short sharp darts outside before gaining the courage to bid for freedom.

By Nicola Adam
Saturday, 13th June 2020, 12:30 pm

As lockdown eases, albeit with a plethora of new unfathomable guidelines that impact each and every one of us differently, it will hardly be a surprise if humans act in much the same way.

We have all become like moles.

They stay underground unless it’s too dry for .them to find food, but must eat every few hours to stay alive.

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Shopping will have new challenges

Above ground they are vulnerable to predators but must risk it -similar to the lockdown essential shops in the face of corona-danger.

It will take time to trust the danger has passed - if indeed it has.

So it’s inevitable that as shops and businesses tentatively begin re-open that we all a bit mole-ish and reluctant to leave our holes.

But eventually, leave we must, albeit with caution into a new world filled with heightened awareness of the enemy - albeit one on the retreat.

So when this week, this newspaper title launched a campaign to support our local shops and businesses it became clear that this is a challenge like no other.

An unscientific poll asked how many of you would be heading to the shops on Monday and the answer was a litany of ‘no’ and ‘not worth the risk’ - which is entirely understandable.

For many of us, our habits have changed entirely and many a business model has ‘pivoted’ accordingly.

Shopping online has become the norm for most of us.

The problem with this is, unless you make a specific effort to seek out locally based retailers, your money into pockets as far away as China rather than boosting the local economy - which provides vital jobs and services.

Shops will close and jobs will go.

It’s already happening.

So as we nose our way cautiously out of our mole holes and gilded home cages, we need to take every precaution but support local businesses where and when we can - while respecting safety guidelines that go alongside.

Let’s #ssupportlocal