The response to the pandemic has, as anyone who has paid attention to anything remotley political over the last 18 months will have noticed, created opportunities for at least some people.
And one of the main types of people for whom opportunity has abounded are those who like nothing more than composing complex governance arrangements. Rules.
Now... I like a rule. I love a regulation. I think the world would be a better place, and we could all find more time to be created, if the simple stuff that could be turned into a process had been. In fact, I am never happier than whne the answer to "is there a policy on this?" is a "yes". In fact, that's a lie. I am happier sometines and it's when there's a standard operating procedure too.
But even for people who loves a complex set of rules the last 18 months has been a challenge - simply because at times the rules haven't made sense and at others have blurred the boundaries between rules, guidance, advice and - something else. Speculation, perhaps?
So 19 July, tomorrow, as legal restrictions are lifted I shall be breathing a sigh of relief (probably through a face covering) that I no longer need to worry that people aren't following the rules.
Yes, there are bigger fish to fry but the mental load of needing to 1) know the current iteration of rules and 2) observe and consider whether people are following them has really started to drive me mad.
And yes, I can hear people saying, I could have stopped ages ago - but that's not how my mind works. Even if I'm not judging people for them, I am constantly, sub-conciously cross checking my world against the database of rules.
So, while tomorrow might well be a public health disaster - I don't know, I'm not qualified to know and I reckon even if I was it'd be a bit of a dice-roll anyway - at least I can stop worrying about people's compliance with them.
It's far from the biggest problem to have blighted anything - but I shall be glad of the freedom.