These strange months have made everyone realise that this isn’t a rehearsal. Now we face difficult decisions about what to do next

Recently, the historian Jessica Otis wrote in this paper about how the plague of the mid-1600s led to behaviour among the populace that closely mirrored our own reactions to coronavirus. There were those who scoffed at the risk, those who had to go out to work anyway just to survive and those who felt vulnerable and practised extreme caution. Then there was a privileged contingent that upped and went to their country estates at the first whiff of rotting sea-rat.

Of course, taking a trip to the countryside out of mortal necessity isn’t the same as a mini-break, but the effect can sometimes be the same. You notice nature, you notice peace, you notice the air smells sweeter and you start to ask yourself a few questions.

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