What will it look like?
One of our readers expressed concerns about what the transition from the pandemic back to our pre-pandemic lives would look like and suggested this as an article topic. She was feeling anxious about what lay ahead and was hoping that an article might shed some light on the subject.
It is clear that COVID-19 will remain with us for the foreseeable future, hopefully with a lower impact on our lives than it is having today. Health experts are focusing on the transition that will begin once the worst has passed. One thing many experts feel certain about is that we will not be returning to normal life, but to a ‘new’ normal. We are emerging from a trauma that has left many people around the world more fearful than they were pre-pandemic. The loss of control and not knowing what the future will look like naturally creates concern and anxiety.
There are quite a few among us whose anxiety decreased during the shutdown as limited choices and staying in one place made them feel more secure. Their anxiety is increasing as they dread the time when they can no longer use the “COVID excuse” to stay home.
Here is what the health experts recommend we do to make the transition as smooth as possible:
Control and continue the safety measures we have been taking for a year, which will keep us safe and give us a measure of comfort.
We should continue to:
Wear face masks in public
Avoid crowds like concerts, events at arenas, large athletic events
Avoid hand shaking
Increase hand washing
Wipe down counters
Travel with disinfecting wipes
Proceed slowly and cautiously to move forward.
- Ease carefully into former activities. For example, although restrictions have lifted, many people are still choosing only to eat outside at restaurants or people’s homes. They will return to eating inside a restaurant when they feel comfortable. In reemerging back into regular life, we must acknowledge that there are risks and we will not be 100% safe.
- Be mindful of your personal boundaries and only do what you’re comfortable with.
Continue with the new things you are loving.
- Zoom exercise classes, Maj Jongg lessons, bread baking classes, walks with your children, for example.
- Talk to your family about what they’ve enjoyed doing together during quarantine and continue those routines.
- Be patient and continue to take care of yourself.
- Stay flexible as the new normal continues to emerge.
Acknowledge your anxiety about the changes to come.
- If you’ve been living alone, for example, the idea of going back to the office might create mixed feelings.
- Experts advise to remember how well we adapted when the virus suddenly shut our lives and routines down. We will adapt to the ‘new normal’ also.
- One suggestion is to have honest talks with friends and family about your anxiety and try to find activities and ways to be together that everyone is comfortable with. There is no right and wrong here, it is whatever makes each of us comfortable.
- Another suggestion is to keep a journal to get your feelings out, and also mark your progress.
Here are some predictions for a post-COVID world from many health experts:
- There will be more remote and contactless transactions in all industries, from retail, food service to health care.
- Continuing restrictions or limitations on large gatherings and travel that involve many people, like conferences, fairs and festivals, sporting events, concerts and theaters.
- Much more remote work than pre-pandemic and an increase in combining in-office and work from home.
- Increased concern about the hygiene of other people, places, products and services, public transportation.
- Increase in tele-medicine and technology that protects vulnerable groups from health risks.
- Concern for the psychological effects of the pandemic that many have experienced.
This will be an interesting journey.
We found new ideas, technologies and entertainment during the Covid-19 “Sheltering in Place”. We are still enjoying many of them.