Many aspects of our lives have been cancelled in the past few months, but there are some notable anniversaries we should have in mind too.
Coronavirus has cancelled all the in-person social events of our lives and weddings are no different. Gone too are sporting events, birthday parties and festivals.
It poses a particular problem. Birthday parties and festivals and the like can simply be cancelled. Festivals can go online (as the Hay Literary Festival showed us) and birthday parties can be zoomified, or toned down. But can you really ‘cancel’ a wedding? It has to happen sometime surely?
This perhaps encapsulates the big question we all have now. When do couples reengage their mothballed wedding plans, and are they the same plans as before? The answer, it could be argued, would give us insight into whether or not the fabled V-shape recovery materialises.
Life is beginning to open. A few spreadsheets that have had downward trending numbers are starting to tick up again. I don’t know about you, but my local park was heaving with young people enjoying the welcome recent sunshine, while my local pubs are innovating quickly to provide alternative services such as takeaway pints and fresh produce. It is a modestly good sign in economic terms.
And (at the time of writing) there’s talk of Boris allowing households to mix socially in each other’s gardens soon – something so banal months ago, but potentially ground-shifting for people’s lives now.
That’s why in June we could see some interesting data on where we now are. Much of the devastating lows have been witnessed. The week of 15 June looks set to be a bumper one for the signals with the latest unemployment (16 June), inflation (17 June) and Bank of England rate decision (18 June) and monthly retail sales figures (19 June) all reporting.
While some of it will be steady-as-she-goes (from the Old Lady) and others will likely be negative (employment data is always delayed), stats from retail could provide a valuable insight.
Finally, one thing that can’t be cancelled is an anniversary. And we have two very notable ones in June. On 3 June we’ll be one year gone since the now infamous moment that Neil Woodford’s funds were suspended. Much ink has been spilled in the intervening 12 months, and significant revelations have troubled some but created opportunities for others.
And lastly, as extraordinary as it might be, we’ll be four years since the vote to leave the EU, on 23 June. On the 4th anniversary it is likely we’ll have a clearer picture on whether the UK is set to end its transition period with or without a deal. Fuel to the fire, or a sideshow to the main Coronavirus event – it’s hard to say – but the media seems more focused on the latter for now.
Read on in this month’s Forward Look for insights from our public affairs counsel, enlightening interviews with Tom McPhail and Rishi Zaveri, and media and industry analysis from MRM and Capital City Media. All the best.