The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. I am sure lots of people realise that when they see the infection rates and death toll each day. But the impact of it can be seen in our towns and villages. The latest casualty was the little greengrocer in my village.
During the tough first lockdown they were a vital resource for the local community. They kept going throughout and seemed busier than ever. That was last year and as things have reopened, people have been vaccinated and restrictions eased things have changed. People have returned to supermarkets but the villages are still empty.
With every shop that shuts the high street moves a step closer to disappearing. I have no need for the pubs, nail bars and takeaways that are all that remains on my local shopping street. As a result it means I never visit and for the few remaining shops that becomes the death knell.
I have written many times, and said almost as frequently, that the pandemic will fundamentally change our lives forever. Not just because of the experience that we have all been through but because of its legacy. There are ways of living that will change and will not be the same. It can feel scary.
The reality is that we have to look to build forwards, to take the learning we have and to develop, and accept it will be different. If we can adapt to the circumstances and take the opportunities that lie ahead we can deal positively with life.
Within the rush to leave the pandemic behind we have forgotten to ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in. Now is the time to take stock and answer that question in our communities.