What is our new normal?
From the realities of getting back to work full time to travel and hospitality, what does our new normal look like as we enter Phase 2?
The past few months have been strange to say the least. Separated from many of our loved ones and forced to adopt new and foreign habits as Coronavirus raged through the globe. And while there is no doubt we will ever be able to forget 2020, there is little doubt that we won’t see a ‘normal’ return to life for quite some time yet. So what is our new normal? What will our holidays and free time look like? Do our daily routines have any semblance of what they did before? We take a look at the likely life post-Corona.
Safe Distancing and Face Masks
As we move on from social distancing, we will enter into safe distancing in Phase 2. This involves not getting within two feet of others and limiting numbers. Saying that, everyday outings will look different with waiting rooms, restaurants and hotel lobbies strictly limiting the number of people using them and taking temperature checks before entering. Once fully open again, cinemas and restaurants will likely have the two-meter rule, maximum person capability and temperature checks look set to stay in malls.
When it comes to face masks, it’s likely to be better safe than sorry as they look set to stay for some time for those of us going out and about.
While no-one has ever loved the daily trudge into the office, it’s kind of easy to miss when you don’t have the option. With governments worldwide issuing work from home notices for as many industries as possible worldwide, one upshot began to be that we realized how easy it can be to set up your office at your house. And this looks set to stay the norm, for now at least. Facebook and Google announced last month that their employees will be working from home for the rest of the year while Twitter has gone one step further and said their employees can work from home forever. While we can’t imagine many employers following Twitter’s lead, it does seem that working a rotating in-office system will be the new normal for some time to come.
When it comes to the essential meetings, numbers look set to be strictly limited with the obligatory contact tracing and hand sanitizing for all participants.
If you think about it, doctors waiting rooms are a veritable hotbed of germs so the fact that we have sort of figured out a way around this, is good news indeed. While we have all been on red alert from the virus, telemedicine has become our new normal and while there are simply some things that the doctor can’t do over the phone, it really does make sense in every sense, to outsource some consultations to the phone.
Remember the days when you used to sprint into school so you didn’t miss the first bell and sit down at your desk puffing and panting? Well, these days are long gone as temperature checks at the door and face coverings are our new normal worldwide. And that’s not the only change either as lunchtimes are socially distanced, attendance is staggered according to age and desks are carefully measured to be two-meters apart during lessons. With the sheer number of children in education and shortage of space, we can’t imagine this will be the permanent solution, but for now, it’s the only choice we have.
Dining and Drinking
Eating out, remember those days?! Well, under phase two, these activities will resume. In Phase 2, we will be able to dine out in groups of no more than five, to make it easier for contact tracing and restaurants will limit the numbers of people in restaurants. In Dubai, it has been reported that restaurants were encouraging diners to bring their own cutlery and glasses to allay their fears of transmission. While we don’t know about that, we are pretty sure that temperature checks, advance bookings and contact tracing will be in place for some time to come.
Yup, that’s right, anxiety. When you think about it, we would be lucky to come out of 2020 unscathed. A year in which we saw the world nearly buckle under a virus, we had to keep away from members of our families, we were forced to adopt new and strange habits and a year in which we feared every cough or sneeze. So thinking of all that, it’s no wonder why experts have said that the there will be a rise in anxiety disorders in a post-Covid world and that symptoms will range from mild to some form of PTSD.
With challenge comes change and nothing has been more challenging than this year. We have learnt to make do with the shopping we have in the fridge because we can’t get to the shops, we have learnt to appreciate each other and look out for each other in a way we probably didn’t do before. Economically, we have all been hit and in saying that, we have learnt to make do more with what we have. Can’t get to the gym? You can subscribe to any one of dozens of online tutorials for a fraction of the cost. Can’t meet your friends at a restaurant? Zoom them for free. This one, above all the negative, gives hope for a nicer, kinder and more generous post Covid world.
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