Well, it finally looks like everything is to open again (except for bars, for some reason Covid hates bars) and we can look forward to a state of normalcy again. Or can we? We keep hearing this term ‘new normal’. Are things really going to change post Covid 19? I’m sure this whole experience has made us all question our priorities and what we take for granted. Here are some things that I know for sure will chnage and some I’m not so sure. I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on these points:
- Less Time in the Office and More Time With the Family – Don’t get me wrong I’m fully committed to my job but this has certainly made me realise the importance of unwinding (and switching my phone off) at home. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life without remembering why we are actually doing it.
- Working from Home is Possible – With a little re-structuring and a clear schedule it’s possible to do more work from home and therefore be there for my kids a bit more, reducing the need for a hurry to get out the door in the morning and to get home in the evening. Also, we can now have business meetings in our underwear which I’d never have thought possible. Maybe the 3 or 4 day work week will now become a reality.
- I Don’t Need to Spend So Much – Since lockdown kicked in I’ve lived very much to my means and have spent a lot less money than I normally would have in that period of time highlighting the fact that I used to spend a little too needlessly.
- Social Distancing – We’ll perhaps be expected to respect social distancing rules and wear face masks for the foreseeable future. I can’t help but feel this will be difficult and I’ve recently had a few disapproving looks when I don’t have my face mask on. Are we now going to feel uncomfortable (or made to feel uncomfortable) when we are in close proximity to strangers?
- Signing In and Out of Shops and Shopping Malls – We now need to provide our personal information when entering 7/11 and shopping malls. I understand this is so they can track people who may have come into contact with an infected individual, but it feels a little extreme considering we have no cases in this region. We also have to ask why this measure wasn’t enacted from the beginning.
- International Travel – It’s obvious that tourism everywhere has been hit hard and it’s not clear when international travel will return to normal, if it ever does. I’ve been reading about the need for Immunity passports in the future and stringent checks in airports which could greatly lengthen the process for taking a flight. Doesn’t sound great to be honest. Also, with the airlines being hit so hard cheap air travel won’t return any time soon.
- Don’t Take Anything for Granted – The fact that a guy eating an uncooked bat in a faraway country can have such a negative effect on all of our lives should really drive home the realisation that we can never take our lives for granted. Things such as eating together in a restaurant, playing a round of golf, buying a bottle of wine, meeting a friend for a drink and going to the gym are all things I never thought would be taken away from me and I’ll certainly appreciate those things going forward a lot more.
- Listen to Climate Change Scientists – I like the notion that this whole thing is nature restoring some balance (much better than a billionaire nerd’s master plan to poison the world with vaccines). Pollution levels are way down, wildlife is returning to places it hasn’t been for ages and carbon emissions are way down. This should really be a wake up call regarding climate change too.
- Healthcare Needs an Upgrade – One really important thing we should all acknowledge from this experience is the importance of healthcare professionals. These people are the true heroes of our societies, not footballers and actors. It’s astounding that a country like the US can have such a woefully poor health system that compounds it’s shortcomings on those who need it the most. I’d like to think that Covid would affect some postive changes in this area.