It’s probably too early to think much about what we’ll do when the coronavirus is over. A vaccine is a long way off, a second wave is expected, and when the weather turns cold, that will doubtless exacerbate the problem. That hasn’t stopped people from daydreaming about all the things they’ll do when it’s over. Of course, we’re all looking forward to something, but let’s not forget that some things probably won’t change.
Between streaming services, video chats and online shopping, internet usage went way up during the pandemic. The stigma that online shopping was lazy completely evaporated and people started buying everything from groceries to notary supplies online. Everyone and their brother were streaming the latest TV shows, and more than ever people were working from home. This trend seems unlikely to change anytime soon, given the factors of safety and convenience involved.
Work From Home
Particularly for office workers, the world changed when the pandemic hit. If they weren’t furloughed, they were working from home for safety reasons, and suddenly companies realized that making the switch to a digital workplace might be a good way to save money. Several companies have already declared intentions to increase the amount of people working from home. This will only increase the strain on and importance of internet access across the country, upping the pressure on internet providers and increasing calls to make internet access a vital utility like water and electricity.
No one enjoyed being separated from their friends, families and loved ones, but it was a necessary evil. Handshakes suddenly became a faux pas and cash was no longer the preferred form of currency exchange. Even as restrictions lift, people are nervous about standing too close or entering areas that are too crowded. It’s an instinct that will doubtless be hard to shake. It’s possible that a certain level of social distance will become the norm. The broad use of face masks may continue even after the pandemic passes, and perhaps that’s no bad thing.
The pandemic struck us hard partially because of old habits and behaviors. If changing some of those habits can help prevent future pandemics, what’s the harm in making a few adjustments. Going back to normal is only a good thing if the old normal wasn’t the source of the problem to begin with. A few changes to the old norms may be the best thing for all of us.