There are few people who will one day look back at 2020 and not see it changed them in some way. We wanted to find out what lockdown (the first one) was like for a variety of the population, and how they have emerged as different people. One phrase that was said in nearly every interview was “the new normal”. That means many things to many people, as we discovered:

“Lockdown was short and sweet: I was furloughed for two months before we could reopen and Alex (owner of The Bean and the city-centre Cartwheel) worked out how we could do it safely.

“Initially it was good: we’d just see people at the door and they’d keep their distance; it was quite nice that way. It’s been more difficult since we opened the inside.

“Everyone knows you leave track and trace, everyone knows the rules on hand sanitiser and masks, but not everyone seems to follow them. They’ll walk in, not wearing a mask and then say, “well, I’m in now, so no point in putting one on”, or they’ll think that sitting outside means they don’t have to fill in the track and trace forms.

“Trade has been good though – very good. The Bean’s really picked up, even before the Eat Out to Help Out scheme began.

“With people spending so much time at home I think it really helped to have somewhere to go”

“We were one of the first places in Beeston to open. With people spending so much time at home I think it really helped to have somewhere to go, to have somewhere open for them.

“We’ve got our Beeston trade back, and the university trade has begun to trickle back in, using our space upstairs to work from due to a lack of space on campus.

“I’m optimistic, but I’d not like another lockdown: I’ve ran out of things to do at home – I would probably just sit at home and cry” *laughs.*