Life before was pretty mad

Maddie Sangway

Life before was pretty mad.

We were busy, claimed we had no time. But we did...

It just wasn’t time well spent.

We had created a powerful consumer culture,

asking ‘What now? What’s new? What’s next?’.

Unsustainably insatiable.


The oceans...full of plastic.

The animals... disappearing.

The skies were polluted. Masked.

The planet couldn’t breathe.

Did anyone care?

Our lives were stuck in a loop,

breeding negativity and encouraging carelessness.

Why did we decide that this was okay?

We seemed to be constantly connected, not with reality, but online.

Scrolling and swiping,

double clicking and one clicking.

We were lazy,

only wanting what came easily to us.

Oblivious to real life.

The virus hit us.

A slap in the face.

A blessing in disguise?

Headlines flashed warnings and statistics and rules and things were out of control.

We were out of control.

Very quickly, our lives


into something completely unknown.

Schools closed.

Shops shut.

Life as we knew it came to a stop.

We were isolating, grieving, afraid.



slowly but surely,

we started to get the hang of things.

A new rhythm.

We listened to the goals and dreams that we thought were forgotten forever.

We lent a hand wherever we could to whomever we could.

We appreciated the little things.

And our planet thrived.

We had slowed;

Our unsustainably insatiable habits eased...

Mother nature could finally breathe,

with less planes, less cars, less shopping, less speed.

The birds sang sweeter,

the skies become clearer,

the waters ran purer...

What a wonderful world!

As life starts to hit the gas once more,

we must reflect.

We have been given a taste of what life could be like,

when we reconnect with ourselves,

with our values,

when we get back down to


What have we learnt over these precious months?

What is important to us?

Our families, our health,

our environment.

We know what it’s like to be masked,

to not be able to breathe,

to be restricted.

Why would we want to do the same to Earth?

We cannot let greed rule once more.

We cannot be impatient to get back to “normal”.

We have been given an opportunity.

An opportunity to forge a new normal, where

we care,

we appreciate,

we think.

Where we stop taking life for granted.

Life before was pretty mad;

It would be mad to return....