As most European countries start to re-emerge from lockdown, it’s becoming clear that we aren’t getting “back to normal” anytime soon. So, how is COVID-19 changing our lives? How did our daily routine and consumption change during the lockdown, and what changes may stay with us for a long time?
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What stuff do we use?
According to a GfK survey , in the Netherlands ice-cream and wine were among the goods that people started to stockpile the most, while in Germany soft drinks underwent the largest increase. In Italy, shops quickly run out of flour and yeast. Consumption of beauty products and clothing went down in most countries, as did electricity use: at the height of lockdown, the latter dropped by about 20-30% in countries like Spain, Italy and France.
Patterns of electricity consumption have changed during the day: demand tends to pick up later in the morning, dip in the afternoon and drop off later than usual at night. To the contrary, internet traffic has boomed – just imagine how this whole experience would have been different if the internet weren’t there (or if it couldn’t sustain this spike in demand).
How much do we move?
By definition, the lockdown heavily affected citizens’ mobility, reducing traffic by any means of transport. Civio has developed an application for EDJNet, tracking precisely the daily trends in traffic in all of the EU’s capital cities.
As long as the coronavirus stays around, the ways of moving within cities and between them will change, with many local authorities in Europe now announcing restrictions on public transports and massive investments in cycle lanes . Data analysis can help in highlighting newly pressing mobility issues: for instance, in some cities almost all the sidewalks are too narrow to grant proper physical distancing.
How do we work?
Teleworking isn’t anything new for EDJNet: as a network of newsrooms across Europe, we’re used to working from distance and to meeting in person on only a handful of occasions per year. But we weren’t that used to working from home – and this is possibly one of the main novelties that the pandemic has brought to a large share of European citizens.
Six months ago, we were reporting that “teleworking struggles to take hold in Spain:” things are probably very different now. Yet the availability of digital infrastructure for learning and working from home differs greatly from one country to another. And smart working is an option only for those who can afford it: many weekend workers still have