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This issue of Bido Lito! went off to print in the week we saw the final lifting of restrictions which have been in place since 23rd March 2020. It’s a fittingly confusing time to match the out and out chaos of the previous 15 months. It’s difficult not to be drawn into reflecting on this time but it’s even more difficult to comprehend how we are supposed to go about living our lives now.

There are wildly differing schools of thought on this and most of them are coming from a place of compassion or should be treated with compassion. We were already divided as a society going into this thing and long stints of introspection or echo chamber conjecture means a lot of our thoughts and outlooks are more divergent than ever. However, above the debates over Covid passports, mask wearing and whether table service is better than going to the bar, we shouldn’t lose sight of some of the more constructive dialogue which arose during lockdown.

One of the most heartening things to come out of our enforced isolation was the near dissipation of stigma surrounding talking about mental health. It was accepted that lots of people will be struggling due to the oppressive circumstances and the all the uncertainty which came with them and we were all encouraged to check in on each other. This shouldn’t stop now. With our new freedom comes anxiety, for many there’s still lots of uncertainty and mental health isn’t confined to times of global pandemic.

There was a resurgence of community as people were not just thinking about getting ahead but getting to know those that they shared streets, interests or other situations with. This is something else to hold onto despite perhaps having less time and more on our plates. There’s lots to be gained from nurturing these connections and relationships and is the opposite route to the division and culture war which we are now engulfed in.

Mental health isn’t confined to times of global pandemic

We spoke lots in these pages about the importance of our creatives who helped us through those harder weeks and months. Without the albums, podcasts, TV shows and books, the previous year and a bit would have been tedious to say the least. Now we’re able to repay them by supporting them by buying gig tickets, subscribing to Patreons and making recommendations to those neighbours we’re now bezzies with. We should make sure we don’t forget the artists whose livelihoods have taken such a hit and received such little support. This also goes for the supermarket workers, nurses, delivery drivers and other key workers who selflessly helped us through and will continue to work hard without even pan bashing to keep up morale. Show your appreciation where you can and don’t forget them in the rush to the dancefloor.

Talking of appreciation, I want to place on record my thanks to our departing editor Elliot who has left Bido Lito! in rude health and whose fingerprints can be seen on this edition. His legacy will be felt on many issues to come.

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