HUMAN NATURE BEING what it is, we tend to spend a lot of time — and, let’s face it; some of us have a lot of that — lamenting all that’s been lost in the past year of upheaval.

(Artwork by David Miller and Kim Carney; photo by Robin Layton)
From commuting to Costco samples: Ron Judd’s list of 20 things we DON’T need back after the pandemic

Much of this truly is lamentable, and fact is, during a time of significant loss, it almost feels unseemly to openly admit that losing some things related to all the chaos might actually prove beneficial, in a rebuilding-from-the-ashes sort of way.

Today we’re cracking that door open, just a touch, and granting permission to bid adieu, via our own Pacific NW Good Riddance list. It’s a lighthearted look at things we’ve given up in the past year that we really ought not to revive, for reasons that should be obvious, but often are overwhelmed by inertia, and by our understandable urge to return to what once was “normal.”

The list is highly subjective, of course.

Some of the topics, however, really should enjoy broad support. Chief among these is Good Riddance Concept Numero Uno: The anachronistic 9-to-5 mentality that shoehorned our worlds into schedules that created breaking-point funneling, twice daily, in our infrastructure, in terms of both transportation and civic sanity.

These imposed chokepoints have needlessly dictated not only what some of us do, and when we do it, but where we live, and how. Yet they somehow have been considered sacrosanct.


If nothing else, the past year of upheaval should — should — have convinced private and public leaders that the entire world will not, in fact, collapse if many people work remotely. Or that those whose presence is, in fact, proven necessary in an office or plant space can be there on flexible scheduling that spreads the people load out over a broader time period.

The serious questions beneath our obvious pranksterism: Now that we know better, can’t we for once step up and make a conscious decision to leave some of the bad ideas back there along the highway? Now that we’ve seen that life, in fact, can go on, is it finally time to brainstorm public incentives that make flex scheduling and hybrid home/office work setups a new, nerve-calming and Earth-friendly “normal”?

We dare to dream.

If nothing else, we hope our list provokes a bit of dinner-table discussion — even if it is with someone who stopped listening to you, oh, 13 months ago. Stay safe, and carry on.