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The Guardian view on habits: a pandemic of lost routines | Editorial

Never before have our daily routines been so altered. But we need good habits and must rebuild them

The pandemic has broken many things, and among them are habits of a lifetime. Some people forged new norms, and discovered in lockdown new routines (working from home, gardening, baking, exercise, petcare), a tendency only underlined by the repetitiveness of the days themselves. The evident popularity of some new habits, such as cycling, will persist. Repeat something once a day for weeks and it begins to feel automatic – a habit, in other words. But the scale of the loss is unprecedented.

Some habits were good to lose. It is interesting, for instance, that breaking the habit of going to badly paid, exploitative jobs has meant that far fewer people are willing to go back to them, while others have found respite from drinking or overspending. But many would be missed, especially the habit of spending time with others (including family and friends); the habit of enjoying art – going to the cinema, galleries and, for believers, the habit of worship. Pre-Covid about 15 million people a month went to the cinema, while London theatres attracted the same number every year. Then all of these places went dark. Now they are open again, the challenge is to see whether those routines can be rebuilt.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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