Shaking someone’s hand, having a hug, walking straight into a supermarket, and having a haircut are among the everyday activities ‘taken for granted’ prior to lockdown, according to a new study.
Research by PizzaExpress, which looked into what the nation has missed the most during lockdown, discovered the things that people never thought they’d have to ‘give up’ – and what they pledge to never underestimate the value of again.
The restaurant chain, which has branches across Birmingham, the Black Country and surrounding area, claimed 37 per cent of those polled didn’t think they’d miss going to the cinema so much, and a quarter said that they even miss face-to-face meetings at work.
Half of customers surveyed admitted they now realise that they took for granted meeting up with friends for an impromptu meal or drinks, and get-togethers with family.
One-in-five adults, many of whom have been forced into a cycle of daily video calls, also said they had gained a newfound appreciation for their broadband connection.
The study coincided with the pizza maker’s Share A Smile initiative, which called on the public to nominate community heroes that have gone above and beyond this year, for the chance to win £1,000 – a year’s worth of pizza – as a small ‘thank you’ for their generosity.
The pizza maker’s research went on to show that three quarters of adults said the lockdown has made them value ‘the little things’ in life more.
And just under nine in 10 vow to keep a greater appreciation for small moments of happiness, once the pandemic is over and if life returns to normal.
Zoe Bowley, managing director at PizzaExpress, said: “Lockdown restrictions have been part of life for so long now – it’s hard to remember a time when you could simply ring up a friend and go for a meal or drink without serious planning.”
“Our results found that spending time together with loved ones is sadly what we were most likely to take for granted.
“If there’s one thing we think everyone will take from 2020, it’s that the little things count. Impromptu meals out with friends, time spent with loved ones, and the small everyday acts of kindness are what make a huge difference.”
“We join the nation in hoping that the pandemic will be manageably under control as soon as possible, so that people can get on and enjoy life together again.”
Things we took for granted pre-lockdown
- Giving someone a hug or handshake
- Going on holiday
- Meeting friends for an impromptu meal or a drink
- Family get-togethers
- Going to the supermarket without queuing
- Being able to attend key annual events without restrictions (e.g. Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, Christmas, etc.)
- Getting a haircut
- Going to live events (e.g. sports, comedy, music, theatre)
- Going to the cinema
- Seeing elderly relatives
- The countryside/nature
- Household essentials
- Workplace banter / gossip
- Face-to-face work meetings
- Going to the gym or leisure centre
- Your daily commute
- Working from the office, with the appropriate desk and chair
- Children being at school
- Reliable Wi-Fi or phone signal