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Life after the Coronavirus Pandemic

Are you ready for a society reshaped by the pandemic?

Every global disaster has two things in common. It leaves a few lessons for us to ponder and introspect, and it changes the way we live or perceive life. The coronavirus outbreak is one such catastrophe that has not only shaken our present but also has changed our future. Once the dust of the global pandemic will settle, we will have a society with different rules and behaviour, where physical touch will become rare and social distancing will be the new normal.

The bigger question, however, is whether we will be ready for this society reshaped by the global pandemic. The good thing is we don’t have to wait for this change. Already, so many norms have become a thing of the past. For instance, the way we used to travel, greet each other, or roam freely in shopping malls. In the time of COVID-19, you can’t be reckless anymore, about your hygiene, social behaviour, and your responsibility towards others.

The times have changed. The new rules of caution and awareness are set. Now the ball is in our court to make the best of the new normal, and hope for a better future. In this feature, Soulveda discusses integral aspects of our lives that have changed in the wake of the global pandemic.

The way we socialise

The good old days of meeting and dining with friends has changed in many parts of the world.

The way we socialise

Izakaya, for decades, had been an integral part of Japan’s working culture. A casual after-work hangout joint, it was always jam-packed by tired and famished office workers in closed, comfortable settings. But with social distancing being predicted to outlast the virus, this tradition has been completely disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Likewise, the good old days of meeting and dining with friends has changed in many parts of the world.

Instead of driving to your favourite joint, now you have apps to order food and groceries. And even if you do find a restaurant, you won’t be able to walk in without a temperature check-up and hand sanitisation. Inside, a mask wearing waiter will take your order, while you sit anxiously at one of the few tables placed at a safe distance from each other.

The life after the global pandemic will also see a shift in the way we greet each other. Hugging and shaking hands will become relics of the past, while the world will look for safer alternatives—the Hindu greeting Namaste, Japanese bows, Thailand Wai, or a simple elbow bumps can become the new normal.

Work from home is the future

Remember commuting to work, sitting in cramped rooms for long meetings, eating lunch with the colleagues, working from your desk, and waiting for the weekend? All this could be a thing of the past with work-from-home seen as the future of daily work life. And why not? It has a long list of benefits, not just for employers and employees, but for the environment as well.

Several organisations have rolled out policies to make working from home indefinite. Others have taken a gradual approach, asking a portion of their employees to work-from-home, and the rest to come to the office on the rotational basis. Depending on their industry and requirements, organisations will take time to permanently adopt working from home. But it might happen sooner than you think. Is it a bad news? No. Researchers have found how working from home can enhance productivity and sharpen your focus. It also leads to less distraction and better time management, which means more efficiency and better mental health.

Leisure time with family

You will think twice, at least, to spend your time outside, due to the risk of infection.

Leisure will not be the same

Just like others, hospitality and entertainment industry will also see a shift once the pandemic is over. Pubs, hotels, restaurants, theatres will be closely monitored and maintained by the staff to prevent any contagion. Going to a pub or watching a movie in a theatre will no longer be an impulse. You will think twice, at least, to spend your time outside, due to the risk of infection. And even if you do go, you will see a complete makeover of the pubs and restaurants. Bars will not be crowded like before, and tables will be arranged as per the guidelines of social distancing.

It is not as bad as it sounds. The changes will lead to rise in awareness and better conduct. You will not only think about your safety, but of others as well. Because everything is connected. If others are safe, you are safe too.

The priorities have changed

The global lockdown was established to contain the virus, but it became much more than that. It changed our priorities, or you can say, it opened our eyes that were closed by our greed, indifference, and selfish way of living.

Before the pandemic, seldom we cared about our mental wellbeing and hygiene. We took our relationships for granted and our lives thinking tragedy always strikes at neighbour’s yard. But now the pandemic and the consequential lockdown has compelled us to take a good look at our lives and plaster the cracks that our negligence and apathy has created. Starting from, making holistic wellbeing our priority.

It has become the fundamental rule of the new normal—take care of your health, because the wellbeing of others relies on it too. Other than worrying for our health, we have also become concerned for the safety of our loved ones—even neighbours, colleagues, and strangers for that matter. The lockdown has brought us closer, and it is up to us to stand in solidarity once the pandemic is over.

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