This article was originally published in the Financial Times.

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There was a naive innocence about the early days of the pandemic. First we were going to swiftly defeat “the rona” by reaching herd immunity; then we were going to kill it off by simply “flattening the curve”. Either way, we were in this together, and we were very much looking forward to the huge party we were going to have when “all of this is over”. The big party never came (smaller ones did but those tended to be, let’s say, inadvertent). Rather than get the grand ending we were promised, we have coughed and spluttered our way back to some lukewarm version of normality. Now, with the weather in the UK feeling decidedly springlike and the spirit of national unity seeming distinctly distant, some of us are feeling a wistful sense of longing for that strange, sun-drenched time of innocence that was the first lockdown. The days when we would clap from our balconies, and could muster genuine enthusiasm for a “Zoom quiz”, feel as if they belong to a bygone era much longer ago than 2020. It was certainly a time of intense anxiety, loneliness and grief for many, but it seems some of us are experiencing something very much like lockdown nostalgia.