SOCIAL distancing as well as lockdown and self isolate are among the words of the year according to Collins Dictionary.

They join furlough, key worker and coronavirus - not surprisingly – as having their usage rise during the pandemic.

But social distancing is more than a word - or two.

It's effect has been to totally transform the way we live our lives today.

Keeping apart has been one of the biggest challenges of the pandemic.

But with a vaccine on the horizon and improvements in the testing system, we can only hope that is not too long before we can mix en masse again.

We dipped into our archive to bring you some photos of York before social distancing was a thing.

A day out at the races seems a life time ago - the packed terraces of the viewing stands at Knavesmire the sign of a great day out for thousands of fans.

And with Christmas around the corner, who can forget the throng of the St Nicholas Fair, or the crowds that would gather for the switching on of the Christmas lights?

We've pulled together this picture gallery of York pre-Covid - to remind us of our lives before social distancing - and the lives we hope to return too, sooner rather than later.

We've included scenes of people queueing for the Boxing Day sales as well as for tickets for the panto at the York Theatre Royal.

There are pictures also of York on the march - in celebration of diversity at York Pride, but also in protest - remember the school 'strike' when students skipped class to 'save the planet'?

From gigs at the Barbican to the Tour de France - York is a place of bustle and fun.

Remember royal visits and the packed seats at the Shakespeare Rose Theatre? Or when Boris came to town with the "Vote Leave" bus?

The fun of the Viking festival, of battle re-enactments and fireworks?

Let's hope it is not too long before those days return.