JUST one in 10 Brits wants life to go back to ‘normal’ after the pandemic.

Only 12 per cent hope life returns to “exactly as it was before” coronavirus lockdown drastically changed our lives.

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A poll, carried out by BritainThinks, found we want to live in a much kinder, fairer society once the pandemic is over – with two thirds of us happy to pay more taxes to fund the NHS.

The survey highlighted three new priorities, according to The Observer.

These are better funding for the NHS, saving the economy nationwide rather than focusing on London, and improving pay and treatment for key workers.

Six in 10 people would be willing to pay more tax to increase NHS funding – an approach favoured by more than half of Conservative voters.

In contrast, just 17 per cent of those polled supported the government cutting public service funding.

People are also keen for better support for those struggling with mental or physical health problems.

More time off to spend with family and friends, a focus on environmental issues and keeping employment levels up were also high on the list.

BritainThinks founding partner Deborah Mattinson told The Observer: “I hate it when people talk about the ‘new normal’ – it just makes me want to scream.

“But actually, people don’t want the ‘old normal’. They really, really don’t.

“They want to support and value essential workers and social services more. They want to see more funding for the NHS.

“There’s a massive valuing of those services and austerity is totally off the agenda.”

She said this was clear from the diaries of 50 British people who have been keeping a weekly log for BritainThinks during lockdown.

One 25-year-old diarist wrote: “Essential services are completely underfunded. We got through by the skin of our teeth. We may not be so lucky next time.”

Similarly, a small business owner wrote: “Nurses have to be paid salaries commensurate with the value of the work they do.”

In another diary extract, a 65-year-old woman said: “I want a more equal society: I want us to tackle climate change and I want the divisions that were there before this crisis to be healed.”

And a parent with young children wrote: “I want us to create a more conscious and considerate world.

“Social care and the NHS are clearly underfunded, as is education, and so many people live in poverty.”

The research also revealed how people’s moods have shifted during lockdown.

Anxiety and boredom in March moved to confusion in May after the government swapped its ‘stay-at-home’ message to ‘stay alert’.

Then people turned angry at politicians and celebrities breaking lockdown and social distancing rules.

But now, as restrictions ease, many report feeling happier and more hopeful.

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