Throwing Away The Pandemic Past

UNWANTED PURCHASES: UK households spent more than £6.6 billion during Covid.

I’M sure everyone would like to forget the past 20 months, but do we all want to get rid of things that helped us get through such a significant and challenging time?

In total, UK households spent more than £6.6 billion on pandemic purchases they no longer want or use – gaming and home gym equipment, tools and clothes the most commonly regretted items.  Nine out of 10 people spent money on ‘treats’ from hot tubs to pizza ovens at a collective cost of more than £57.6 billion. Phew!

Sales of super yachts, though, are still booming thanks to a big rise in the number of billionaires, who are splurging up to $600 million on luxury vessels in an attempt to avoid places hit by future pandemics. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Mr Bezos!)

One of my acquaintances (and no, not a billionaire) bought a cheap recliner rocker for those long hours of TV bingeing. You know the ones: they make you feel like you’re going to do a backward somersault when you sit down, and be launched onto the carpet when you press the button to get up. And in-between you’re almost guaranteed to nod off and miss all the best bits.

Another acquaintance bought a trampoline that uses about 10 per cent of the garden and has killed 30 per cent of the grass…

But what about all those impulse puppy purchases? I’m less bothered about the types of items listed above than I am about the number of puppies bought by people who simply didn’t know what they were doing. Thousands of dogs are going to end up abandoned or handed into rescues, with psychological problems because they haven’t been either properly socialised or trained. You can’t simply dump your new puppy in the corner of the garage next to your broken pizza oven.

One neighbour, though, has no pandemic purchase regrets whatsoever, having bought a cocktail shaker and SHED-LOADS of booze. Maybe the biggest sign of over-doing it is that he now gets a Christmas card from his local Amazon delivery drivers…

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.


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