As we end our third month of lock down, is this the 'new normal'?

“We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day. Keep smiling through just like you always do, 'till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away...”

The words of Vera Lynn took on a new, and largely unexpected, significance in our VE Day celebrations this month, as we skipped on street parties in favour of more distant affairs. Many of us reminisced on days gone by (quite literally for this innovative street in Chester!), where hugs weren't taboo, beer gardens weren't off-limits, and we could party likes its 1945. Yet, it has been wonderful to see how many people across the country are adapting to the current climate, finding ways to connect and celebrate amidst what now seems to be our 'new normal'. VE Day is particularly important for us at the DRN, and we are extremely proud of all the service and ex-service members among us. We are committed to researching and supporting Armed Forces personnel both on and off the battlefield.

What's more, experiencing VE Day in the middle of a pandemic has raised questions about what it means to be a hero in today's 'new normal'. William Hague has called on the British public to 'Applaud the military on VE Day for their unsung efforts to beat Covid', noting how the 'war' against the coronavirus has carved out new roles for the military. Captain Sir Tom Moore has become the embodiment of a military hero, highlighting the country's support for the millions of NHS and other front-line workers tackling COVID-19. However has 'the cult of the health worker' truly replaced the 'cult of the soldier', and, if so, will this shift result in longer term funding and support for our health service once we're back to 'normal'?

At the DRN we are embracing this new (digital) normal by extending our Twitter and webinar repertoire. I want to thank all of you who joined our webinar 'I feel like I'm going under...' with Tim West. Owing to your wonderful engagement, we are in the process of planning another webinar - keep your eyes peeled! We are also busy updating our website to include new content and archiving previous newsletters and Twitter Hours for you to look back on. As always, we love to hear your comments and feedback on Twitter.

On behalf of all the DRN, I wish you a happy, healthy month!

See the full newsletter: 'What is the new normal'?

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