There is no getting around the fact that, when we look back on 2020, it will be a year that is colored by one specific topic far beyond anything else. We’re getting to the point where it’s nearly half-way into the first year of this new decade, and it feels like we’ve talked about little else. That’s natural – even when you’re talking about something else these days, the virus and its surrounding crisis will inevitably play a part.
At the same time, and completely understandably, it has been tempting to think about what might lie beyond. At some stage, Coronavirus will have done the vast majority of the damage it can do, and we’ll be on the other side of the crisis – and it only makes sense that we think about what that could mean. What will a post-Covid world look like? We can’t know right now, but the following seem to be at least realistic possibilities.
Expect to see more masks for decades to come
National governments have, in the main, been reluctant to mandate the wearing of face masks in the wake of the crisis. In many cases, this may have as much to do with the risk of exacerbating shortages that have meant the medical and care workers who most need masks often can’t get them. However, some governments have now advised the wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment) when out in public – and even when this crisis has died down, it’s reasonable to expect that some people will continue to wear them.
Think about it this way – there were countless people infected when they had no idea what a coronavirus was. Plenty of us will be keen to avoid getting the next novel virus, whenever that is.
Staycationing will get an additional boost
When you’re in the middle of a holiday somewhere wonderful, it’s common to think to yourself: “I could stay here forever”. For some holidaymakers, that idle fantasy began to look a lot more real as airlines shut down their services, stranding some abroad.
No-one wants to be stranded hundreds of miles from home, where they find their deepest comfort. So in the first instance, post-Covid overseas travel will take a blow. The news is even worse for cruise companies, whose purported misleading sales pitches have been blamed for infecting passengers. Cruise line profit margins depend on high occupancy; something they can’t be sure will be in place for them in future.
Working from home could become the norm
Not everybody can transition from commuting for their work to simply switching on a laptop and being ready to go – it’s not so easy for builders, mechanics or, most of all, doctors. However, for those of us whose employment is largely office-based, the question has to be asked: Would anything about your job be impossible if you just stayed at home? If not, your commute is unnecessary, and with increasing technological assistance on hand for telecommuting, you could earn a few extra hours that used to be lost to traveling to work. Home working won’t be compulsory, but it is likely to become standard even outside of pandemic times.
There will undoubtedly be other things that change forever as a result of this stressful period of all our lives. However, the three above are some that we’ll all be able to see happen before our eyes.