The coronavirus pandemic brought about many sudden social and economic changes that put a huge strain on businesses and individuals seeking to cope. Many of these changes may have been seen as unwelcome by many seeking to return to the way things were before the pandemic struck. Nonetheless, more than a few of them have benefited society in many ways. With this information in mind, the following are 11 things that hopefully remain after COVID.
The first thing is social conscientiousness. Many individuals have begrudgingly adopted the protocols such as wearing masks to avoid legal and social repercussions, in some cases seeing them as an infringement upon their God-given rights. However, with a new vaccine and the end of the pandemic as we know it, people will still hopefully appreciate the need to respect the more vulnerable members of society, particularly the elderly and children, rather than fret and fume over minor inconveniences.
The second thing is gratitude. For those who have weathered the coronavirus itself or the pandemic, or witnessed others struggle to do so, the gratitude for time with one’s loved ones as well as all the other little things that all too often get overlooked from day to day will hopefully not fade into obscurity when hard times are over.
The third thing is empathy. Seeing others fight for their lives or die alone is heartbreaking, but hopefully helps foster a sense of humanity that persists so that we treat people well even during good times.
The fourth thing is innovation. Many have reacted with suspicion or resistance to new changes in their social and economic lives, such as the increased usage of online communications to conduct meetings and stay in touch with family or the decreased ability to work and play like before the pandemic. However, many have adapted and learned to get creative, a trend that hopefully does not fall by the wayside when the pandemic is over. Sending a package or letter to loved ones is always in good form. Additionally, many restaurants and grocery stores created curbside pickup as a way to boast sales. This innovation is so convenient that hopefully, it will continue long after the pandemic ends.
Cutting Down on Waste
The fifth thing is cutting down on waste. Social distancing and sanitization have highlighted the importance of waste removal and cleanliness.
The sixth thing is establishing and respecting boundaries. Social distancing has created an enforced boundary of sorts. However, the strain brought about by families and couples stuck at home together for longer than usual highlights the importance of personal space and boundaries that is a hallmark of emotional maturity.
Mental Health Awareness
The seventh thing is mental health awareness. The pandemic has undoubtedly put a considerable strain on people’s mental wellbeing, with social bonds and livelihoods suddenly put under pressure or called into question. Thankfully, recognition of the gravity of the pandemic has led to a lessened stigma on mental health issues that hopefully remains after the pandemic has run its course. After all, maintaining mental health should always be a priority, pandemic or not.
The eighth thing is humor. During dark times, dark humor arises as a way to cope by making people laugh together and temporarily distracting them from the hardships going on around them. Laughter really is the best medicine sometimes, and will hopefully remain so when things get better.
The ninth thing is hygiene. Washing one’s hands and keeping things regularly sanitized has become a normalized ritual during the pandemic. However, these habits will hopefully remain afterward, as good hygiene is associated with better mental and public health.
Desire for Truth
The tenth thing is a desire for truth. With the advent of the internet, misinformation has always been a concern, as information can spread far more quickly than it can be verified. This is especially worrisome in a pandemic, where people are desperate and looking for any reassurance they can find. Even the response to the pandemic has been mixed due to pseudoscience and misinformation spreading like wildfire despite the efforts of scientists and fact-checkers. Thus, a desire for accurate information and integrity hopefully remains in times of peace from a pandemic.
The eleventh and final thing is social activism. Important social causes like better policing and protecting minority communities will hopefully go strong after the pandemic.
The pandemic has been difficult, but it’s important to stay positive. While it has hurt to endure, it has taught many lessons. Hopefully, some will stay.