“What’s the first thing you’re going to do when this is over?” everyone keeps asking. What would you do? I would like to go out dancing with my boyfriend. But, is this thing really going to be over? When the stay home order does end, will everything just go back to normal? I sadly don’t think so.
I’ve heard people say how they’ll never take another hug or kiss for granted again. That now, they’re more appreciative of time together and time spent out. We can trust our friends and family, but what about strangers. How open and trusting are people going to be about public spaces and events? My questions about the future state of the world are endless.
History has something to teach us here. I keep thinking about 9/11, and how the entire process of flying changed because of that tragedy. Some individuals fear flying because of it. What does this mean for COVID–will some individuals fear people? Human interaction is a need, it is how we thrive, and I hope we don’t lose much more of it. But pre-pandemic, weren’t we starting to limit human interaction anyways?
I’m an advertising student, and in class, we discuss the effects the virus has had on advertisements. Some of my peers mentioned how people want to be out and about, but “Didn’t people want everything done at home?” I shared. Before this pandemic, companies had been developing ways to do everything from home, as desired by many Americans. Amazon one-day delivery, Carvana app buying a car from your couch, Instacart ordering groceries from your bed for delivery, and many more services that I consider ironic. These services were intended to serve America from the comfort of their home but now serve as a necessity.
So, what is the “new normal” going to be like? Below are some of my thoughts on how things may change after Covid.
For 4 years, I have proudly worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and this pandemic has dramatically affected our company. Luckily, I still have a job and am working from home using my personal computer. Now that I and others have been working from home for so long, I wonder if I could have been doing this all along. A select few employees received laptops to work from home, but now we can log in from any computer. Will this change the way the workplace functions?
I think working from home will become integrated into the regular work schedule, minimizing the number of people at the office at any given time. I also think, at least until the end of the year, facemasks will become a required accessory, and handshaking will be a minimum. Maybe some companies have become more effective through remote working, and convert to solely online, or the opposite and thrive only in a workplace environment.
My entire family is involved with school: my mom is an elementary teacher, my dad a high school teacher, my twin siblings are in their high school senior year, and I’m studying for my masters. I witnessed the forcibly quick transition my parents had to make to online learning, as well as my sibling’s senior year of high school lose all its excitement and fun.
For now, universities and high schools are making summer courses online, but what will happen in the fall? I see face masks becoming uniform, and sanitizer stations everywhere. Face masks are a simple solution for these upper-level students, but what about elementary kids and kindergarteners? Are we to expect toddlers and kiddos to keep their annoying masks on all the time?
Enrollment is causing fear among all schools. If schools have to do online learning in the fall, why would parents want to pay for a university or private school when public school is doing online as well? Being out of school, the sense of community and higher education might lose meaning.
The social aspect of life post-pandemic is what’s most talked about: clubs, restaurants, and stores. These places are filled with people moving and interacting. No doubt face masks will be necessary to enter, just like they are for grocery stores now. I wonder about the practicality and how we would eat or drink with a face mask. I think social establishments will monitor the number of people they let in. I know people want to socialize because they miss friends and family. Maybe they will opt to gather in homes rather than in public, to avoid jeopardizing these businesses further.
I believe this time has been the longest, on record, that major theme parks have been closed. How will places like Disney or Six Flags respond to the pandemic once they reopen? There are many diehard fans out there who consider Disney the first place they will go once this is over. I feel like for many people, the first thing they want to do is go OUT. I know I do.
We’ve been home for eight weeks now, but how is the home dynamic going to change post- pandemic? Will we still invite people into our homes? Do we make cleaning every grocery a habit now? In my home, cleaning will happen more frequently from now on. Being a large Hispanic family, we always gave fun gatherings and parties, and I don’t think that will change.
The home has been our haven during this time. I know those in my home miss life, gatherings, and love. I will be missing all my friends and family on my birthday (May 9th), spending it at home in quarantine. To me, it won’t feel like a birthday celebrating it without those I love.
It’s been so sad spending Sundays at home, only receiving Spiritual Communion. I am so grateful for the ability to stream Mass and celebrate in some way, but I am missing the communion. Not just receiving Jesus, but being in communion with my church. I miss serving in the choir.
What will change in our Mass? Before the stay home order, we were refraining from the sign of peace, holding hands during the Our Father, and no holy water blessings. Will this continue? Unity and community are central to Mass.
My prayer for post-pandemic times is for us to not lose our humanity. I hope people still love, help, and trust in one another.