The fact that COVID-19 has impacted the world in several ways is beginning to sound like a broken record. Of course, the economy is affected, day-to-day relations are improper, even staying at home alone isn’t special anymore.
These are just surface issues; there are so many others that make-up the new normal till there’s a vaccine available. First, realize that some things may never actually go back to the way they were.
Seeing as certain restrictions are beginning to ease off, it’s logical to wonder what life will be like from now on. The effect won’t be the same all around the globe, but here are five things that will constitute the new normal post-lockdown.
1. Workspace Conditions
The nature of work as we know it is going to change; for some, it may be permanent. At this point, social interaction is still iffy. Every business owner out there has to take steps to determine and adapt to the new normal for their business. Remote work has become the norm, and a lot of companies have had to migrate to online spaces to operate.
Even more, a lot of people have had to change their business model altogether. You see, remote work is proving to be quite beneficial. Not only do businesses save on office space, but workers don’t need to commute. For these reasons, among others, there’s a chance this may stick around for quite some time.
As the restrictions loosen up a bit, some offices are resuming for work. The thing is, to implement social distancing, all workers can’t stroll in willy nilly. For the most part, essential workers are the only ones required to be on site. But some organizations are making provisions for people to work in shifts.
This is one area that has changed drastically and is still changing since the virus hit. The transmission dynamics of the virus are so unpredictable that it’s unsafe to move around at all. Sure, things are pretty much easing up now. People can jump on buses, taxis and the rest, though it’s still advisable to only do this when necessary. Air travel is another ball game entirely; everyone has to re-learn how to fly during COVID. It’s definitely not the same and may not change for a while.
For the most part, traveling at this point will not be for leisure purposes. So, say goodbye to your annual family trip to Majorca. The fact that people can’t travel for fun as much is definitely going to tell absolutely on the tourism industry. But, that’s an issue for another day.
3. Free Time
The hustle and bustle of life is constant all around the world. Since the dawn of time, people have had to toil and work for every morsel. But, that’s about to change for a while seeing as the pandemic gifted some people with time… lots of it too. On one hand, it’s been great for people to get a breather, but too much of anything eventually becomes toxic. A lot of people have fallen at risk of becoming lonely or depressed. Even simply being unable to move around freely is quite enough to affect the strongest of minds.
The good news is that there are ways to deal with depression during the pandemic, whether you live alone or stay with family and friends. A whole other issue here is that for some the free time is not just imposed by the lockdown, but it’s equally imposed by work or lack thereof.
As of May this year, 36.5 million Americans were laid off because of the pandemic. Having to stay home without any work to do has of course cleared up a lot of space on people’s schedules. It goes without saying, those people will have a lot of free time on their hands.
4. Social Gatherings
Human beings are social animals, so this is one area that is going to be quite hard to manage. We gather to work, learn, pray, blow off steam, and do so much more as a unit. As mentioned earlier, the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 are sporadic and unpredictable. Even worse is the fact that the smallest interaction can result in infection. Based on that, social gatherings of all kinds are probably going to be a lot less rampant and different. This certainly does not bode well with extroverts and social butterflies alike. But at this point, it’s life over parties.
Everything from weddings to funerals and even religious gatherings have changed drastically. So, if you were planning to have a society wedding, this is not the time. Besides the limitations in terms of numbers, the CDC also has laid down certain rules and considerations. Seeing as the nature of the virus differs in each community these regulations don’t overshadow what’s already been put in place.
But, for the most part, the basics still stand. There has to be good hygiene observed on-site, and of course, adequate social distancing. Unfortunately, this may be the situation for quite some time.
Let’s face it, some degree certificates were rendered useless as a result of this pandemic. For instance, it probably won’t be a good idea to study liberal arts at the moment. That’s basically not what’s needed. Similarly, venturing into tourism and hospitality may not pay off since the virus does not really allow for leisurely movement. As a result, a lot of people in these fields have had to upskill and migrate to different fields to remain relevant in a very tricky job market.
Furthermore, it goes without saying that people in the health sector are practically drowning in work. Everything from mental health to physical health is highly needed at the moment. Besides that, the gaming industry has also seen a serious surge in customers. With cinemas closed for business, among other things, people have taken to their screens to seek solace.
Speaking of screens, movie streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and the rest are also not wanting for customers. It’s actually a good time to be on the other side of a screen. Though the hospitality industry may be wavering right now, consumer goods are in high demand.
Besides the fact that there’s a lot of people panic-shopping, they are simply on demand because people are at home a whole lot. Where 2 cartons of milk were once sufficient for a week, double, if not triple that is needed now. Needless to say, trips to the grocery store are a lot more frequent now.
Finally, another sector that has experienced unparalleled growth is E-learning. Remember when we mentioned something about upskilling? Well, it turns out that a lot of people are trying to stay relevant in this job market. Even more, work nothing but time in their hands a lot of professionals are looking to use this time to learn as much as they can.
COVID-19 is by far the most deadly virus that has hit the world since the black plague. So, it’s no surprise that it has affected the world in more ways than one. It should be evident by now that it’s going to take a while for things to normalize. There’s equally a chance that this whole situation has given birth to a new normal.
What can we do? Mankind has no choice but to get with the program and adjust accordingly. At the end of the day, these are the major changes that everyone needs to get on board with.