The effects of Covid-19 have been devastating on people, healthcare systems, businesses and economies around the world. The pandemic’s profound effects on our way of life continue and looks set to do so for many months to come.
Yet, for all the danger, disruption and uncertainty, some people who have managed to avoid the most severe medical and financial consequences of coronavirus have been able to find silver linings in their situation.
Social media is full of people expressing some degree of satisfaction about living life without their daily commute; spending more quality time with loved ones; having greater opportunities to exercise or explore new hobbies; having the habits of consumerism curtailed; and easing into the new day with children, rather than rushing them out to childcare. In short, leading a slower pace of life.
That got us thinking about the overlap with the appeal of wood-burning stoves.
A woodburner is not the quickest way of heating your home: you can have electric or gas heating at the flick of a switch. Yet in recent years, the popularity of stoves has soared. We always attribute that to the homeliness, the cosiness and the tradition of a woodburner. It’s nicer than other forms of heating, but it also stirs something inside us. Lighting a fire to keep our home warm is in our DNA.
And, yes, perhaps a slower pace of life is also part of the appeal of a woodburner. Collecting, maybe even chopping, your own logs (or at least leaving your armchair to go outside to fetch them), the act of lighting and nurturing a fire, and the warmth – literal and emotional – that comes from gathering with loved ones around a stove.
We think that those people who have been able to find some positives during the pandemic are tapping into the same aspects of the human condition that explain the enduring appeal of wood-burning stoves. It’s about taking time to take stock, simplifying life and taking comfort in the things that people have been doing since before cars, jobs and banks even existed.