Future Generations
30 April 2020

Don’t go back to normal

Don’t go back to normal

Our poll found that 48% of the UK public would be more likely to vote for a political party that had a cohesive plan to prevent and prepare for threats such as coronavirus in the future.

[The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Alpenglow as an organisation.]

 

From Twitter to Instagram to the local South-East London graffiti on my daily walk, people are starting to think about the sort of post-pandemic world they want to live in. 

The verdict, in hashtag parlance: #dontgobacktonormal. 

In a time of lockdown, it has become common to hear activists, influencers and schoolchildren alike speak longingly of a ‘new normal’.

This is not a fringe movement or a vague pipedream. This is a defining moment in our lifetime, and people demand real change. 

In a poll of the UK public we asked Portland to conduct last month, we learned that 48% of the UK public would be more likely to vote for a political party that had a cohesive plan to prevent and prepare for threats such as coronavirus in the future. 

This is highly significant, and political decision-makers should take note. It tells us that we shouldn’t underestimate people’s appetite for serious changes, including inconvenient ones, if they lead to a better world in the long term. 

But what should our ‘new normal’ look like? 

It is difficult to distill the mood of an entire country in this extraordinary time – to visualise the enormity of the change that people want to see happen. But by piecing together our individual hopes and dreams, like a patchwork quilt, we can begin to co-create a future that is safer, fairer and more resilient for us all.

One thing is certain. Governments will need to transform the way they identify, manage and respond to extreme risks – not just pandemics, but all high consequence, low probability events. 

This will be central to our ‘new normal’. We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations, to get this right.