Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Life After Covid-19: The ‘New Normal.’

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N. Pompi Devi
Mountains aren't just funny, they're hill areas.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a history-defining period. It is one of the biggest crises that modern day generation are facing.

We have deviated from the ‘normal’ we knew before. No longer can we go outside without having to worry about contracting a lethal virus. No longer can be attend parties or hang out with friends without a single fear clouding our minds. The way we work, the way we perform our daily activities, the way we see each other, the way we behave have all changed. We live in a new reality that we have to reluctantly accept.

The economic conditions of the countries of the world are facing drastic changes which are not favourable for growth and development. Thousands if not millions are losing their jobs in this very second. The coronavirus pandemic has introduced a new environment that can change how we function in the future.

The only answer to Covid-19 being over is a vaccine. But for it to arrive may take some time. A year or ten years. There is no definite answer. Life, as they say, continues. So, the question arises, what can the ‘new normal’ be after the Covid-19?

There is also not a solid answer for what life or the ‘new normal’ can be after the coronavirus. But what we can assume, judging by how the world is functioning as of right now, that it can result in a different approach to various activities.

For starters, whatever can go digital, may go digital. We are living in a generation where technology plays an important role, but now? In this situation where human contact is dangerous? Technology plays an even bigger role.

If re-opening schools can be considered a great danger to the health of the children, teens and adults, then the online classes may still continue. Or it may be that the schools and universities allocate the timings in a manner such that there is no cluster of students and that they may come in different timings to ensure proper distancing and avoidance of unnecessary contact.

Coming to social distancing- picnics, hang outs, generally just meeting your friends can be envisioned, only with 1 metre distance in between. This may be because of the fact that the virus may still be prevalent, even if it has been reduced. The fear of contracting the virus will be there and people might be a little conscious of what they touch or with whom they interact.

This is also a time when building/ maintaining social relationships take the back seat. Why? Because the Covid-19 pandemic has made us communicate everything online or through calls. As such, it can be a slight hamper because these virtual communications can be more formal. So, there are no opportunities of spontaneous communications, say before a meeting or class. Moreover, without talking face-to-face can be a great deterrent from building trusting relationships. But perhaps after the coronavirus pandemic is over, we can go back to how we communicated and maintained our relationships, but with proper measures of safety because safety has become the new ‘norm’ as of now.

The companies which did not have the work-from-home policy have introduced it with the intention of the process of productivity to keep going but at the same time ensure the safety of its workers. For those who have withdrawn the policy after the lockdown has been lifted, are introducing new timings for the workers and dividing them into batches so that there is no massive cluster of employees. When one batch is coming to work, the other doesn’t and vice-versa to ensure social distancing. After the coronavirus pandemic, the workplaces may still adopt these measures of safety because as I said earlier, safety is the norm.

As for travelling abroad, different tourist attractions are implementing different measures. In some cases, arriving on foreign land requires you to be quarantines for two weeks. Some countries are looking into travel ‘bubbles’ meaning that travel is allowed only to certain locations. Some tourist destinations, example Bali, require for foreigners to provide negative Covid-19 test on arriving.

So, it seems that after the whole Covid-19 situation is over, travelling to other places may be permitted but with higher safety measures. No longer can we imagine setting foot on new tourist destinations without having to give a solid proof that we carry no pandemic-causing virus.

Restaurants and food chains are opening up but with various safety measures being implemented. Some restaurants are putting up glass walls to ensure social distancing and lack of human contact, while some are ensuring that people wear masks and allowing only selected number of persons to enter at a time. But despite these measures, it is more favoured by people to enjoy meals cooked at home, with the knowledge of their own safety measures.

The pandemic has made people more family-oriented, enjoying home cooked meals and spending more time quarantined in their homes. Moreover, the pandemic has helped us learn to survive with the essentials and this habit of ours may persist even when the pandemic is over or reduced.

In Conclusion:

The pandemic has brought about changes, both favorable as well as unfavorable. But the dark times are sure to bide by. The safety measures of wearing a mask, washing hands and ensuring that loved ones are save can be the ‘new normal’ as people have truly realized what safety measures can help avoid. Therefore, what we can do as of now, is to stay positive, follow safety precautions and perform our activities with high regards to caution and contact.

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