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‘Let’s leave the city! Let’s get a dog! Let’s get a divorce!’ Do we regret our pandemic life changes?

Lockdowns, illness and working from home convinced millions it was time to shake things up. But did they follow through – and did it make them happier?

There was a lot of big talk during the pandemic as we used that eerie combination of silence and panic to re-evaluate our priorities. Fear of change evaporates when everywhere you look there is upheaval you didn’t choose. Why not do that thing you have always wanted to do, chuck in your job or get an iguana? Practically speaking, it was a new world, in which life in the city was all downside and no up. Suddenly, the relationships you thought would endure till death parted you wouldn’t last five more minutes; at the same time, the person you met on Wednesday was now living with you. The pointlessness of your job leapt out at you, but was it the work itself, or just a proxy for modern life?

Especially in 2020, this all looked as though it was going to bring about huge life changes. By August of that year, one in seven Londoners wanted to leave the city. Nationally, four in 10 people were more inclined to look for houses in rural locations than they were before Covid. Developers in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool were panicking. In early 2021, one estate agent noted the “largest exodus out of London in a generation”.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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