Inessential Activities

Stephen Marche for the Guardian writes “Your wedding’s been cancelled by the coronavirus lockdown? Good“:

…we maintain these supposedly necessary traditions. The most widespread collective response to the approach of gender equality has been that, in our most significant public declarations of love and commitment, women dress up like they’re minor members of the Russian royal family from the 19th century and men dress up like they’re waiters on cruise liners.

This brilliantly funny article about the ridiculousness of spending so much money on weddings – essentially one big party – all for the sake of tradition. I’ve been to many weddings and have found that what makes a good one is the people present, not the venue, the cake, the dress or the suits.

This article did made me think about what other activities might become less commonplace in the wake of Covid-19. Will travelling halfway around the world to sit on a beach for a few weeks be acceptable, especially given the damage it does to the climate? Do we really need to buy all those things it turns out we didn’t actually need? Perhaps shopping as a leisure activity in its own right might become a thing of the past. Additionally, might we get used to the fresher air from the lack of vehicles on the road, and seeing so many people out cycling and running? Or, as I suspect, will it snap back to normal after a few months?

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