The road to freedom

As the UK removes Covid restrictions, our design correspondent Daniel Benneworth-Gray examines what ‘freedom’ means when you’re essentially a hermit

Illustration: Daniel Benneworth-Gray

Freedom! Apparently! England has returned to something that kind of looks like normality. No more locking down, no more social distancing, no more perfectly sensible rules to follow, just a great big pestilential free-for-all (at the time of writing at least – I dread to think how many Covid variants and public health policy backflips will have occurred by the time this reaches your eyes).

I’m persevering with the whole try-not-to-kill-anyone approach, but no matter how masked and distant we keep things, there’s no avoiding that we’re gradually going back to the way things were.

Virus aside, my feelings about this are … mixed. The great reemergence isn’t going to signal that radical a change for me, just as lockdown had very little effect on my lifestyle in the first place. Working from home and being socially distant has been my default setting for years; a daily routine of keeping human interaction to an absolute minimum.