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2020 was the year that changed all of our lives... can things ever be the same again?

Claire McNeilly


2020 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, but with light at end of the tunnel in battle against coronavirus, Claire McNeilly wonders if things can ever be the same again

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New normal: This was the year of shoppers wearing masks in Belfast city centre

New normal: This was the year of shoppers wearing masks in Belfast city centre

The Queen joined the Zoom revolution for a conference call to mark Carers’ Week

The Queen joined the Zoom revolution for a conference call to mark Carers’ Week

High demand for toilet rolls and lots of empty shelves

High demand for toilet rolls and lots of empty shelves

The appearance of Covid-19 testing centres like this one at Belfast’s SSE Arena

The appearance of Covid-19 testing centres like this one at Belfast’s SSE Arena

Economist John Simpson

Economist John Simpson

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New normal: This was the year of shoppers wearing masks in Belfast city centre

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. It may be the immortal first line to L P Hartley's 1953 novel The Go-Between, but never has it felt so relevant.

For 2020 is the year when our lives were completely altered.

Amid assumptions that nothing will ever be the same again, there are assertions that we will eventually fall back into our old routines.


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