It’s amazing how different things can look like in a year. Do you remember what you were doing at this time in 2019? Perhaps some of you are in the middle of a winning sales pitch or maybe you’ve just bought your first car and are preparing to go on a road trip with your pals. Some are probably in the middle of their summer vacation in the Maldives or the Caribbean.
Whatever it was that you were doing exactly a year ago, none of you could have ever predicted that things would end up the way they are now. No one expected this to happen. Not one person can say they saw this coming.
To say that the pandemic has changed the way we live is a monumental understatement. It has affected every area of our lives. Part of the precautionary measures we need to take to prevent contracting the disease has ushered us into a whole new normal that we’re all still getting used to.
7 Things We Need to Get Used to under the New Normal
1. Social Distancing
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends maintaining a safe distance of 2 meters from other people to prevent getting infected with the virus via droplets that come out of people’s mouths and noses.
Given that the virus spreads this way, we need to get used to keeping our distance from people and refraining from having physical contact with anyone. This is extremely hard for people, especially those who are more physically affectionate. But if we are to beat this virus and get out of this pandemic in one piece, we need to do the hard things.
2. Wearing of PPEs
PPEs or personal protective equipment, such as face masks, face shields, eye protection goggles, sanitary gloves, and other similar protective gear are getting to be a staple of people’s wardrobes. In fact, entrepreneurs are investing in materials to make PPEs a little bit more fashionable and ideal for casual or streetwear. However, more than fashion, we wear PPEs to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It is the right thing to do.
3. Frequent handwashing and sanitizing
One of the primary ways that we take the offensive against the coronavirus is washing and sanitizing our hands. Casual handwashing will not do. You need to properly wash your hands to get rid of any germs, bacteria, and viruses that come into contact with your hands. It also helps to observe good personal hygiene and to make sure that your surroundings are clean and frequently sanitized.
4. Getting surrounded by fewer people
Since social distancing is still in effect — at least until we have a cure or a vaccine against COVID-19 — near-empty streets are going to be commonplace for quite some time. The WHO and local authorities recommend not going out unless necessary, especially in places where the number of positive cases and the transmission rates are still high.
Expect to see fewer people at work, on the streets, in shopping centers, and other public places.
5. Remote work
Since the lockdowns were implemented, most businesses and establishments set up flexible working arrangements for their employees that are able to get work done remotely. Even as communities have reopened, a lot of companies still employ this work-from-home arrangement to ensure their employees’ safety and their companies’ survival.
6. Online and contactless transactions
Since social distancing is in place and a lot of shops are still physically closed, most business transactions over the past few months have all occurred online. Online sales are at a record-high since the pandemic started, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Contactless transactions have also become a thing to prevent people from physically touching each other, in keeping with social distancing.
7. More time spent at home
If there’s one good thing that the pandemic has given us, it is the opportunity to spend as much time at home with our families. If we were too engrossed in our careers before pre-pandemic that we didn’t have time for our families, we are now given a chance to be with them, to know them, to experience them on a whole new level.
Until we get to the point that we discover a cure against the virus — or develop herd immunity to it — these are some of the things that will be normal to us for quite a while.