Two and a half months ago, I wrote my Snapd article about the priorities of the day, and the need to flatten the curve. Those were the early days of Covid-19, and no one – least of all me, knew what to expect in the coming days. That the coming days would become the coming months hadnt occurred to me. By now, however, it is clear that the world is changing. Whether it will return to what we broadly call normal is a matter of differing opinions and not a subject I intend to tackle here.
Like any crisis, Covid-19 has shown the ability to demonstrate that the veneer of civilization is thin indeed. Fistfights over toilet paper, arguments over masks, are not the proudest moments of any society. Happily, though these moments become high profile, they arent the norm, and the Covid-19 pandemic has had a way of helping us develop gratitude for simpler pleasures that perhaps we sometimes have taken for granted. Most notably, our homes.
Though I earn my living in an industry that helps our clients find housing options for their family, I must admit that home for me had largely become a place to come at night and leave in the morning. The busier life would get, the less time I would spend in what I love the most, and with whom I love the most. Evenings were filled with extracurricular activities, perhaps a hockey game to either watch, coach or play, dinner out, maybe a movie, or visiting friends and family. When that hectic pace convinced us we had earned a break, our break wasnt to retreat to our home and lock the door. (though for years my wife pleaded for that!) Rather, it involved a vacation that took us further away. Though I admit the first world nature of these problems, I suspect I am not alone. Then came Covid-19. Regardless of what you may feel about our societys reaction to the pandemic, the agreement should be universal that Covid changed our daily patterns. For the first time in my adult life, home was all there was at night. No hockey to watch or play. No dinners out. No movie nights and certainly no travel. Work, in my case, while tacking abruptly to adapt to both public demand and public policy – largely carried on. When work was done, I went home. And, I liked it! I recognize that others feel differently, and cannot wait to return to normalcy.
What will be interesting to observe in the coming years, is how the pandemic will affect peoples housing decisions moving forward. Being sequestered in any place for 3 months will accentuate what you like or dont like about that place. Presumably, how your homemade you feel may shape your housing decisions moving forward – for those fortunate enough to face that decision. Canadians, by global measure, are a well suited and booted peoples. That doesnt negate the reality that we have neighbours amongst us struggling to maintain a roof over their heads, and feeding their family- many despite the fact that they are employed. Affordability is not an issue in the whole country, but certainly in enough of it to be a cause for concern. When the dust settles from the various levels of government battling Covid, we may be well-served if they were to turn as vigorous an attention to addressing the affordability issues facing many people. Covid-19 helped me appreciate my home. Not any particular feature in it, but simply that I have one. Every Canadian should be so blessed.
Thanks for reading and stay well.
– Jeff Neumann