The New “Normal”

No One Knows Exactly What Will Come, But One Thing Is For Sure, This COVID-19 Outbreak Affects Every Aspect Of Our Lives, Our Health, Families, Careers, Finances And So On. 

The impact of this epidemic is universal. Everyone wants things to back to normal quickly. Though we don’t know how the world will change after this virus leaves us but what most of us have probably will soon realize, is that things will not go back to normal after a few weeks or for months. Some things might have become permanent. Will life be normal after completely lifting this lockdown? What will\”normal\” be like when it arrives? Will touch become a taboo? 

It is clear that life will not return back to normal how it was before coronavirus until there is a vaccine. In the near term, we will find some uncomfortable compromises that allow us to retain some appearance of social life. Many health researchers and social analysts have different views. Anthony Fauci, a white house health advisor gave insight on what the “new normal” might be for the Americans after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. He said that people will gradually come back to normal from this pandemic and be able to jump back into their regular lives with both feet. If they want to get to pre-coronavirus that might not ever happen 

Further, he said the new normal will include compulsive handshaking or giving up the handshaking. It would not only good to prevent coronavirus, it probably would decrease influenza dramatically because it is really one of the major ways that you can transmit bacteria and viruses. George Poland, director of the Mayo clinic vaccine research group, denoted handshaking as an outdated custom and focused on learning other ways of greetings without touching each other. He suggested tilting or bowing his head to greet another person as people did many years ago. While according to Bill gates there would be a possibility that gatherings will be permitted but bound to the age of people involved and he stressed that larger public gatherings may not resume until the vaccination has taken place. 

Marina Gorbis, executive director of Palo Alto’s Institute for the future, said that pandemic has revealed weaknesses in hospital capacity and gaps in health coverage. She further said that health is no more private health because we are all inter-depended on each other’s health. Private health is turned into public health due to this inter-dependency. The novel coronavirus has reshaped society not just in the short term. Now people will be more curious about others\’ health and will be more careful about the overall health conditions. 

There will be some adaptation of course. Everywhere, the crowds will be prevented and physical contact will be limited. This will include transportation, supermarkets, parks, recreational areas, hotels, etc. Airports, planes, and trains will be less populated. All workplaces, colleges, universities, and schools will be revised working and teaching methods, seating arrangements, toilet and cafeteria meetings, etc. Online education will have proven to be a viable means of education. College costs could decline as more students will like via online methods. It will not be surprising that many students from high schools decide to enter the trades because their parents have lost their job. In Pakistan, the education ministry has taken the initiative to launch a TV channel, Tele School, as an alternative to regular educational mechanism during the lockdown due to coronavirus and for this purpose, PTV would provide eight-hour airtime to support the education system through the channel. 

Hygiene has already become a top priority of corporate as Singapore plans to introduce mandatory cleaning standards, So, people will be more hygienic and might become germophobic. The health care system will be better and quick to identify outbreaks before they start to spread. Testing and tracking apps that register those falling ill and alert people who have been near them will be built up. There would be temperature scanners or it will become vital signs to wear such monitors that track temperature. People will be encouraged to wear non-medical fabric masks in public. 

When this pandemic will subside, one thing is certain that the builders or the town planners will rethink to trade off the construction of hotels, marquees, highways, and other housing megaprojects with building more hospitals and healthcare facilities. As many companies found their employees can work relatively easily from home and executives realized how much money will be saved by ditching pricey offices and allowing employees to work at home. It will be hard to bring everyone back from home once they have tasted freedom from a hectic eight-hour office routine. Recruiting managers will have a bundle of CVs to choose from and management won\’t feel the need to pay well or offer good benefits, as the company will already have so many candidates competing for a job. People will prefer to rely on online shopping rather than risking their health going to the markets and malls. It will be seen that Amazon in the world and Alibaba group in Asia, getting bigger and stronger while the brick and mortar stores just can’t even compete. Netflix will beat the theaters because people will be paranoid by watching movies with dozens of strangers who may potentially carry disease. 

This is not a temporary disturbance. It’s the start of a completely different way of life. China is an authoritarian country that imposes strict controls on movement and means of surveillance even after uplifting the lockdown in Wuhan. Though in Wuhan, 11million people are now free to venture out after more than two months of being quarantined to their homes they are hesitating. As one of the restaurant owners, Xiong Fei said that even the end of the lockdown has not brought relief rather set a new challenge. People are cautiously going outside to the streets and still must have their temperatures checked before entering any building. Xion further said that lockdown has changed customers’ behavior as they all have their lunchboxes, while in past, they dined out with their colleagues during the lunch hour. But now they are more likely to cook at home than go out. Yu Wong, a citizen of Wuhan, described his feeling after uplifting the lockdown that he wished gravely for normal life during quarantine but now it’s not easy to return. Since lives have been completely changed, it is difficult to change back so suddenly after adjusting to life under lockdown. 

History reveals that crises and disasters shape it by continually setting the point for change, often for the better. It has exposed people’s strengths and fears. But every disaster is different. The global flue of 1918 helped create health national services in many European countries. The Great Depression and the Second World War set the stage for the modern welfare state. This fight against the virus goes better than expected but at a great economic cost, to poor people and small businesses. This is a more difficult situation for poor countries because often they do not have health care infrastructure and can easily afford the economic losses caused by prolonged restrictions. However, the poor will be more affected by this change as they have less access to health care and live in more disease-prone areas. The success against the pandemic will lead to a greater trust in our government and institutions. 

Andrew Blau, managing director of Deloitte Consulting told USA TODAY that different nations will feel the impacts in different ways. We are all imagining the future but the future is not written yet as none of us actually knows. Life, as we know, it has been significantly altered. At least, one thing is clear, normal as we knew it has gone. We have to adjust to our “new normal.” 

This is not a temporary disturbance. It’s the start of a completely different way of life. China is an authoritarian country that imposes strict controls on movement and means of surveillance even after uplifting the lockdown in Wuhan. Though in Wuhan, 11million people are now free to venture out after more than two months of being quarantined to their homes they are hesitating. As one of the restaurant owners, Xiong Fei said that even the end of the lockdown has not brought relief rather set a new challenge.