Skip to main content

OPINION: Life After Lockdown

Three thought-leaders weigh in on the subject on everyone's minds: what life will look like, after lockdown. 


Kelly Hoppen 

Kelly Hoppen: Homes as havens

We are living through a life-changing moment that will affect the way we view our homes. Through this crisis they have become our safe havens and I believe this will endure long into the future. 

As well as being places for rest and relaxation they are now a space we feel safe from the invisible dangers outside.  

I think the new normal will be about incorporating safety and hygiene into homes. As designers, we will need to re-purpose areas and create anterooms for removing shoes and sanitising hands before people enter their home or entrance hall. The challenge will be finding stylish ways to realise these spaces, particularly in smaller homes where storage is slim. 

I suspect another thing that will be in demand is people wanting to create an office or area in the house to work. People will work from home more, if not exclusively, and there’s only so long you can operate from the dining table. Creating a dedicated space for work gets you in the right headspace day after day.  

Beauty in the home is always imperative but homes will need to be practical, now more than ever. 

Kelly Hoppen MBE is an entrepreneur and interior designer.  


Nicole Rolet 

Nicole Rolet: A return to Nature

I think this experience is driving the need for paring back to the basic building blocks of our lives to restore harmony: harmony within ourselves and nature. For me of all people to say that, it takes a lot. I grew up on the upper East side in Manhattan, on “68th between Fifth and Madison” as the insiders would say. The closest I came to knowing about biodiversity was going to Central Park and spotting the occasional bird that wasn’t a pigeon. 

A few decades ago, I left the wild world of finance for the backwaters of Provence. Reluctantly at first, I joined my husband on a quest to restore an abandoned medieval vineyard and priory in a UNESCO biosphere.  

Initially a fish out of water, suffering withdrawal symptoms from the high-octane life I used to lead, I gradually got used to the slow life. I became hyperaware on a daily basis of the trade-offs of fast-paced have-it-all instant gratification versus the a life spent creating a legacy in harmony with the earth. It gave me an answer to that nasty little existential question that follows us no matter the worldly success, fame or fortune: so what?  

Many people are having in a few short months some of the epiphanies that I had over several years. The common knee-jerk reaction to confinement is an urge to immerse in nature. I hope this sudden jolt to the collective unconscious will rewire our neurons en masse to recognise how nature needs to be protected, not just for the sake the global ecosystem but for the good functioning of our own private ecosystems. 

Nicole Rolet is the principal of Chêne Bleu, an award-winning vineyard.  

Anthony Lassman 

Anthony Lassman: A divided world

After lockdown, life will remain quieter, particularly in the travel space. The emphasis will be far less on Instagram and social media influences and more on being able to go to beautiful, peaceful places and spend time with friends and family, or alone with books, music and nature. 

There will be less of the over-hyped beach clubs and ‘cool’ restaurants and far more intimate gatherings at beautiful villas, as well as educational and experiential travel in low-density areas, with strong demand for privatisation.  

Of course all of this is at the fingertips of the UHNWs who can fly privately, rent ultra-prime villas, charter yachts and will want to ensure their plane crews have been tested for Covid-19, as well as villa staff and yacht crews having remained in quarantine for an entire 14-day period before arrival.   

This summer I imagine there will be travellers looking to hire yachts in remote parts of the Mediterranean like the Cyclades and Ionian, Sicily and Corsica. Provided there are no further outbreaks, certain African countries with world-class lodges and private compounds should bounce back. 

We have reservations, certainly for the time being, about travel by Americans and Europeans to high density countries such as India, China and Japan. Even though China came out of lockdown earliest, and India was only mildly affected when its population size is taken into account, these countries are likely to experience a longer return as they may be stigmatised. 

And for the land it will be Portugal, Norway and Swedish Lapland.  Further afield South America excluding Brazil as well as French Polynesia and Fiji.

Hotels will need to satisfy how they are handling sanitation and social distancing, while certain restrictions remain in place. People won’t be happy dining in half-full restaurants served by masked waiting staff.  

Travel to cities will remain muted until cultural highlights become accessible again and people feel comfortable shopping and sightseeing. 

Anthony Lassman is founder of private members travel club Nota Bene Global