After lockdown ends, will we be living in a brave new world or a FAT new world?

As we ease our stress through a diet of junk food, Netflix and physical inactivity, there is a real risk that our waistlines will grow whilst the economy shrinks.

As revolutionary and political theorist Vladimir Lenin once remarked there are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. Few will dispute that we are living in interesting times.

Many people have seen their lives change in drastic and unexpected ways in the blink of an eye. Presently almost four billion people, roughly half the world’s population, are under some form of lockdown. As recently as a month ago few imagined that the UK, alongside most other nations, would soon impose hitherto unimagined restrictions.

The UK government introduced a lockdown on March 23 whereby citizens are only allowed to leave their house in specific circumstances, whilst ensuring they maintain a two-meter distance from all others. Police have new powers to fine or arrest those not complying and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has cautioned that restrictions could get tougher with outdoor exercise being banned altogether if a minority of people continue to flout the rules.

he lack of certain products in supermarkets and the queues outside have the flavour of those ‘dark days’ living behind the Iron Curtain about which some Western historians are so fond of speaking. 

In just the last few weeks, a growing number of people in the UK and abroad have either lost their jobs or have been ‘furloughed (granted a leave of absence from work whilst continuing to be paid up to 80 percent of their wages). Others find themselves trying to balance working from home and childcare whilst schools remain closed; those of us still able to go to work appreciate this opportunity to interact with other people.

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