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The COVID-19 pandemic has massively changed the day-to-day of most people’s lives. Wearing masks whenever you step outside, social distancing from loved ones, and washing your hands after every move have become part of the temporary lifestyle. During these, people have thought about and discussed when life will go back to “normal.” And while some things may return to the way they were, there are many post-pandemic life changes that will likely be here for a while.
That sounds a bit scary and unpredictable, but it’s important to keep in mind that most of these changes will benefit the health and safety of the country. It may be hard to accept some of the things you may never experience again post-pandemic, but it’s better than the alternative. And don’t lose hope completely — there’s a chance some of these may return to their pre-pandemic state at some point in the future.
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Even without the threat of coronavirus, shaking hands with someone you don’t know is potentially exposing you to a whole host of germs, especially if you touch your face after. Immunologist and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that in a perfect world handshakes would stop, according to ABC News. The casual way of greeting someone you don’t know may now be replaced with a nod or wave instead.
Meeting someone for the first time can be terrifying without the threat of a pandemic, but saying hello to that cute guy at the bar without knowing if he’s got a fever or has been in contact with someone with COVID seems extra risky now. In fact, according to Business Insider, dating new people is among the high risk activities during the pandemic.
Many dating apps, like Bumble and Hinge, have found a workaround, implementing video chat features to help people make connections without risking infection.But there is still nothing like that first IRL meeting.
The ball pit is fun in theroy, but scary when you think more about the transmission of not only COVID-19, but colds, flus and other ailments. A recent study showed that, despite sanitation, ball pits do carry a lot of bacteria which could be dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. Staff would have to make major alterations to the cleaning process for these to be considered safe again, Add in Chuck E Cheese filing for bankruptcy last month, and the ball pit could be in jeopardy.
Traditional In-Office Work
There is little-to-no rush for many people to be crowding and commuting and squeezing into office space. Especially given all the benefits. Recent research suggests businesses can save over $11,000 a year, explore a larger hiring pool, and have less people calling in sick. Additionally, the work-life balance creates such a positive impression that people are less likely to quit. With many companies following Twitter’s lead to allow employees to stay home, going forward there should be much more flexibility in allowing people to telecommute full or part time.
Packed Concerts and Clubs
Hopefully, Gen Z will get a chance to experience the “fun” of dancing in a big, sweaty crowd. But large gatherings of people crammed together remain the most high-risk activity, according to Business Insider. And when you add dancing, sweat and screaming to the mix, it gets even riskier. CNN reports that clubs around the world have attempted to reopen, with many requiring registration for contact tracing and temperature checks before entering.
The increased amount of options for curbside pickup has been one of the bright spots during the pandemic. A few chains were doing this before the quarantine, as Forbes noted, but now being able to order online and pick up your items knowing you’ll get exactly what you need is key. Although it can’t fully replace browsing and buying impulse items, for busy people this quick pick-up option is a lifesaver. Same with grocery delivery from shopping apps like Instacart and Amazon Fresh. One less time-consuming chore and fewer lines to contend with.
Buffet style dining is great for larger groups and people who like options. But shared serving tools, tongs, and utensils could pose a problem, according to CNN. Companies like Golden Corral have begun offering “no touch” buffets where a staffer handles the tongs and puts food on plates, or they will bring food directly to your table like a restaurant. Other buffet chains like Souplantation have shut their doors for good.
Entry Without a Temperature Scan
Many places opening up, like Six Flags and Walt Disney World, are implementing temperature screenings at the gate, along with requiring pre-registering and reserving a time to visit. While temperature checks won’t catch every asymptomatic person visiting or working there, as CNN reported, they might stop a few sick people from getting in and passing germs around to others.
Now that the majority of the schools around the country have found a way to do remote learning, there’s a chance that there may not be snow days any more, according to CNN. Sure, there will be days where the weather is too treacherous to physically attend school, but that might not be an excuse for a day off.
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