It’s amazing what’s changed in the world since writing our ‘what to do in 2020’ post in January. Even that title now feels empty, as if we just didn’t do enough planning or we should have predicted it in some way. The reality of it is that it has taken everyone by surprise, regardless of whether it should have or not – that’s one for the political commentators.

What I’ve been most interested to observe is the way people communicate is evolving before our eyes. Whether it’s seeing an older relative you never thought would even pick up a device, to the first ever video call with someone you know really well, you know – like, even your dearly beloved? (we just never did video calls!) ..But even with people who I’d considered my closest friends – suddenly we’re all interacting in a new remote space, with different stimuli, in a place we’ve never been before.

It’s impossible for even the most cynical heart to look at the outpourings of honesty, help, love and hope as much as it is hard to not irrationally judge everyone you see in a car, upon realising you are also in your car and you should probably stop being so judgmental. The point is you just don’t know what other people are going through. Be kind, trust in them to be doing the right thing, like you are.

We seem to be starting to look behind the inane social media posts and ask a bit more about what’s actually happening, making new conversations and, as a society, I believe we’re starting to peer over the parapets of our social media echo chambers and see that our commonality and inherent goodness binds us more than suspicion and cynicism divides us. Everyone isn’t one or the other, to be bought, sold or ripped off, we want everyone to be OK – Safe and at home, and we want that for ourselves and our closest people too.

What the landscape will look like later this year is still very much unknown but you can sense the cabin fever starting to set in in some quarters – and unsurprisingly. We’ve been blessed with the most beguiling, forgiving Spring in years – my thoughts have occasionally turned to ‘what ifs’ – thinking about what it would have been like in the most depressing winter in years in 2019/20. What if it comes back? What if things never return to normal?

It’s important, therefore, that we find consensus about the new normal, that it isn’t something to be imposed, it’s to be created. Better to look at ‘Lockdown’ as a remote collaboration to stop the spread to the most vulnerable in the group, rather than an order to stop you being infected.  It’s teamwork, it’s looking out for your fellow citizens.

Through the increase in unity of common understanding and group work-not-groupthink with our neighbours and colleagues, allied to our new experiences of communication tools, there’s an exciting platform from which to make everyone’s lives better.  We need to keep checking in with each other and asking ‘how can I help?’

Hopefully, soon some freedoms will have been restored.  In the meantime, I’ve shared some photos of the studio and the tuk as Spring happens all around.

Stay safe, everyone.


Tom Threadgill is co-director and founder of Shuttlefish &