Here We Go Again, Again (Again)

First off, I would like to open by promising that I won’t use that title again. I will be the first to admit that it is getting a little bit old now, but then again so is lockdown, which is the topic of today’s post.

By the time that this is published, the fact that we are, once again, in a national lockdown will be relatively ‘old news’, but of course this does have implications from a financial planning perspective.

Of course, there are the obvious health (physical and mental), economic and social consequences of lockdown to factor in. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I am not necessarily anti-lockdown, but I do also feel that the non-covid related harm caused by lockdown is not receiving the airtime that it perhaps should. Of course, those consequences do include very urgent and important medical treatments being cancelled or postponed and the impact of that on the people in question should not be understated.

Then again, we must think of the healthcare workers on the front line who are dealing with their own set of serious Covid-consequences – burnout, mental trauma and stress being just some of them.

Of course, the whole Covid issue is not easy, and whichever side of politics you sit on, I am sure we can all agree that we would rather it was ‘them rather than us’ having to make these decisions.

All of the above might give you a reason to be a little gloomy as we head into 2021, but I do think that there might be some merit in seeing the next few weeks and months as an opportunity. Here’s why:

The past year has given many of us a unique chance to do things that ‘we have always meant to do’. For some, it is learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby (I have just started to, very tentatively, learn guitar – a lifelong ambition). For others, it might be getting around to re-drafting their will or putting in place that trust framework they have been thinking about for the past few years.

With the vaccine now rolling out rather impressively (despite what I hear on the news, I actually think the UK has done a pretty good job thus far when it comes to vaccines) and with the rollout likely to speed up very quickly, barring a new variant of Covid that can evade the vaccine, we might only have a few more weeks of this lockdown life left.

Now, I am sure none of us will be lighting a candle as we see the back of lockdown – good riddance I say – but what it does mean is that, hopefully, within the next few months lockdown will be over.

That means that things will, hopefully, begin to go back to the way they were before, which for the most part will be a good thing. But (and it is a big but) that will mean that we will get busier again. Our social lives, our holidays will all recommence which is undoubtedly a good thing, but (and again, it is a big but) that means we will have less time available to do ‘all of those things that I have been meaning to do for a while, but just never seem to get around to’.

So, might I suggest that you use these next few weeks of lockdown wisely. They may (fortunately) be the final time we get to have so much uninterrupted time on our hands.