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Manchester Life

8 Things We’ve Loved About Living In Manchester During The Pandemic

By Laura Rogan

One year on…

We’ve really felt it all this past year. We’ve felt contentment and we’ve felt boredom, we’ve felt love, while others have felt sheer loss and devastation. It’s been a truly strange time in our lives, and one we will never forget. But as we sit at home in lockdown 3.0 exactly one year after the UK plunged into a national lockdown, we take a retrospective look back on just some of the positives of living in Manchester during such a turbulent time in history.

1. The community spirit

The sense of community has absolutely skyrocketed throughout the pandemic, with many taking to groups on Facebook and apps such as NextDoor to help one another out during this tough time. From taxi drivers collecting grocery orders for those in need, to locals offering themselves up for odd jobs – it’s been a wonderful time to be a Manc. And hey, we’ve finally gotten to know our neighbours’ names.

2. The way our local businesses have fought back

Credit: Rudy’s

While the pandemic has proven incredibly tough for hospitality businesses, in particular, our locals have displayed sheer determination during this time – adapting creatively to keep their businesses alive. And not only do we thank them for continuing to serve us despite the world around us, but we also applaud them for their efforts.

3. And the way we have relentlessly supported them

Credit: Canto

Even though the restrictions have yo-yo-ed like crazy over the past year, we Mancs have continued to rally round our local businesses – providing consistent support throughout the pandemic. Be it ordering takeaways, purchasing DIY meal kits, taking advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme or simply booking a table whenever we could – we’ve made sure our locals have been thriving at every opportunity.

4. The way we just keep on keepin’ on

If there’s one thing we’re pleased for this past year, it’s Northern grit. Rubbing off on us from one neighbour to the next, our ‘sod it’ mentality has gotten us through this dark time – and without it, we’re not quite sure how we’d have coped.

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5. The COVID-safe outdoor terraces of the summer

Credit: El Gato Negro

Manchester turning into a Mediterranian-style dining paradise was the highlight of our 2020, and we’re so excited for it to return this year. Thanks to the council granting permission to businesses to block off roads and expand their businesses across the streets, us Mancs were able to meet with friends, socialise and enjoy our favourite bars and restaurants after months stuck in lockdown.

6. The way we appointed our newfound King of the North

Copyright by World Economic Forum / Faruk Pinjo / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

It feels like a lifetime ago now, but Andy Burnham really stuck his neck out for us Mancs throughout the pandemic, demanding more support for the government and more answers when Manchester was subjected to the toughest restrictions in the country. His actions resulted in locals hailing him the ‘King of the North’, and he even had a beer made in his honour.

7. The newfound slowness to life

Manchester can be a pretty fast-paced place to live, particularly if you work in the city. It’s a mini-London, in that sense. We’re grateful for slower days, less commuting, the ability to spend more time at home and enjoy the little things in life that we forgot about – like walking the dog on a sunny lunchtime or using our coffee maker which had previously required a whole lot of dust.

8. The way that despite it all, Mancs found a way to bring excitement to the city

Credit: Escape to Freight Island

During a time that you’d least expect it, many Mancs actually turned the pandemic in their favour – opening thriving new businesses (even when they couldn’t accept customers IRL). From online bakeries that have absolutely boomed in Instagram, to pizzerias crafted during lockdown 1.0 – the city has seen a major uplift in new ideas during the past year.

Read more: 9 Gloriously Summery Outdoor Terraces In Manchester To Enjoy From April 12th