Sunday, January 03, 2021

Calendar time - but is there a point?


In the past, I've provided an early list of shows I'm adding to my calendar as a way of filling a post, and reminding myself how busy I am. 

We all know how badly wrong this went in 2020. Almost every event on the page was scribbled out, a victim of the pandemic. 

Now I have a 2021 calendar and am faced with thinking how we'll get on this year. 

From the pronouncements of various politicians, you might believe that anything after Easter is good to go. Sadly, all the politicians are liars and idiots, and I've read the future in the October editorial from the medical journal, The Lancet

COVID-19: we will not be returning to the old normal

This is worth a read, but you get the gist from the final couple of sentences, "It is time to forcefully impress on people that basic measures to limit the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 are here to stay. This is the new normal."

And that pretty much wraps it up. We will always wear masks. We will always social distance. Everything will always be shut down. At least in the opinion of the doctors who wrote this, and if you watch Twitter, you will have spotted they aren't alone.

"That's overly pessimistic", I hear you cry, "Once more people have the vaccine, we'll open things up. Normal life will return."

Will it? My suspicion is that if things do improve, and I very much hope they will, the clarion cry from the medical profession will be "Zero Covid". Some see themselves engaged in a war with the virus and only total victory is acceptable, no matter what the cost in businesses, jobs and people's mental health. Our press love a good war, witness the suggestion a few weeks ago that we'd be using gunboats to handle a fishing dispute, even though this meant firing on citizens of a county with nuclear weapons. I can see then wetting themselves about the idea we can "win" the battle with Covid, and our increasingly useless politicians will agree. Either that or be considered uncaring. 

Anyway, if this is correct, then we'll not see any physical shows in the future. Even if it's only slightly wrong, getting the show scene back up and running will take time. I wouldn't put loads of time and money into an event knowing it could be cancelled at a moments notice on a politician's whim. 

It's not the end of the world though. One thing has impressed me over the pandemic - the ability of businesses to adapt to the changing rules. Go to a supermarket and there are plastic barriers protecting staff and shoppers from each other. Click'n'collect has become normal. In our hobby, online traders have been doing breathtaking business. People have embraced creative hobbies with a passion.

We've seen Virtual Shows, and whatever happens, they will continue. For the housebound or those living a long way from a physical show, this is great news. It's certainly new and different, and still evolving. We are sort of at the second series of the Great British Bakeoff, a very different beast from the sixth series when they had refined the format. 

The practical upshot of all this is that I'll be adding events to my calendar on a monthly basis. I really, really hope things get better this year, but I won't pin my hopes on anything. As I've learnt in the past, looking forward to something is a sure path to disappointment. 

But let's hope this is a blog post that ages badly, and we can all laugh about next year. At least the pictures in my calendar are pretty.


Nick Brad said...

I don't think you are being pessimistic, I don't believe physical shows will return in 2021 and sadly I think that we are going to lose even more small independent model shops which didn't make the jump to an online presence in 2020 or before.
It is not the death of the hobby though, buying online is the new normal and forums such as RMweb are the future of sharing the hobby, along with virtual shows.

Paul B. said...

Its the same with live music. I have tickets to gigs that may or may not happen, some have already been re-scheduled. Venues have folded, as have equipment hire companies. Bands are struggling, relying on merch sales and their day jobs.
I miss gigs, even more than I miss exhibitions.

Phil Parker said...

Where did I say it was the death of the hobby?

Bill L said...

Your view of politicians reminds me of the old joke. How can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.
Your view of the immediate future is very depressing Phil, albeit probably correct. I just hope the Isle of Man decides to open its borders this year to visitors, even if it means you need to have a Covid test.

Phil Parker said...

I'd be happy with a test to visit the IOM, but why would I want to come back?

Nick Brad said...

Phil, you didn't and that is one of the things I like about you, those words don't pass your lips like some other people. The hobby isn't dying, it wasn't dying and it won't die, it will evolve, what the old timers are used to will change, but those that prophesize doom just cannot see beyond their own narrow view of the hobby.