The New Normal: Some of the ways our world may be evolving
by NATASHA JOSEFOWITZ
Published - 06/14/20 - 09:00 AM | 1434 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Natasha Josefowitz
Natasha Josefowitz
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The world as we knew it before the pandemic has been altered. We are experiencing a different way of living; some of those changes will continue into the future. I am neither an economist nor a historian nor an epidemiologist, so my predictions are based on what I read as a lay person and my guesses are as good as yours. I may not even be around to see how far I have gone astray.

• Telework: Working from home with ever-improving technology will be more prevalent. Businesses will see this as a new possibility. It will cut back on traffic and on overhead, such as office space. Some companies are already planning to allow employees to continue working at home. Flexible working hours with staggered shifts may be another way to reduce crowded offices. Recent studies have shown that working at home is more productive than going to work. The downside is lack of colleagueship. Talks around the water cooler, dropping by someone’s office with a quick question will no longer be possible, but this may also be a benefit as many people are more productive when interruptions are kept to a minimum.

• Education: Will classes be held via Zoom? Some yes, hopefully not all. Many of the benefits of school are the interactions between student and teacher and between students. Social skills are learned and honed in this environment. The learning that takes place in groups cannot easily be replicated online. Also as we have seen, the disparity that became evident between those students that have access to computers and high-speed internet and those who don’t needs to be remedied.

• Telehealth: Seeing one’s doctors online will become more common as this is already being experienced successfully. New technology will make it easier for patients to send the relevant information for doctors to diagnose.

• Online Shopping: The way we shop was already changing. This will continue exponentially both online and via catalogs, with deliveries by drones to your doorstep. Strolling through malls, window shopping, browsing through stores will be a thing of the past.

• Home Life: Family time will continue to be treasured with more cooking at home and increased family activities, such as playing board games and doing arts and crafts together. The pandemic has increased our reading, which will become a new habit. There should be a proliferation of small neighborhood daycare centers with trained staff to allow parents the free time to work from home or to go to work.

• Communication: More and more people are now reaching out to distant family and friends by means of computer technology. By continuing with this, we can stay in touch with people more readily. Intimacy can be increased with the ease of sharing our lives on a more regular basis with others.

• Attire: With the ease of wearing comfortable clothes at home, there may be a new value in not getting dressed up. People might stop coloring their hair, forgo wearing makeup, and revert to a simpler way of living.

• Physical Fitness: By having learned to exercise at home using the internet, we may not wish to go to the gym, especially if the virus is not totally eliminated as there will still be fears of contagion. Many activities which require being with other people will be curtailed.

• Entertainment: As streaming movies at home became an easier way to be entertained, people might not want to have to drive, park, pay for a ticket when it can all happen in our living rooms. Movie studios have already begun to release new movies via streaming at the same time they are shown in theaters.

• Environmental Impact: With the pleasure of seeing how our cities look with less traffic and less pollution, there will be an impetus to regulate emissions and enjoy our new clean air and blue skies.

• Social Isolation: Having endured solitude, we might have a renewed appreciation for the value of friendships, of being more neighborly, being more aware of the needs of people surrounding us, and more willing to help. In other words, we might become a kinder, gentler people as well as kinder, gentler nation. Maybe, just maybe, having been given the time for introspection, we have looked into our hearts and found compassion and love.

Copyright © 2020. Natasha Josefowitz. All rights reserved.

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