With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, it’s hard to imagine an end in sight. But as vaccines and new therapies advance, there will be a day when we can return to the world and resume our lives.
What will this life be like after the pandemic? A majority of US adults (86%) surveyed by the Pew Research Center say there is some kind of “lesson or series of lessons” to be learned from the pandemic, such as the importance of wearing a mask to protect others and the value of spending time with family and loved ones or the need for universal health coverage.
Here are nine pandemic changes that may become part of our future survival guide:
1. Wearing the mask
Face masks are an accepted part of everyday life in Asian countries, which could be one reason why mortality rates from the coronavirus there are relatively low. In these countries it is common to wear masks to control breath droplets, especially during the cold, flu and hay fever season. In Japan, face masks are nearly universal in public areas, although they are not mandatory.
Although masks are relatively new to our culture, they have now turned into fashion statements (just look at the matching masks and outfits by Nancy Pelosi). Second Wind, whose masks include decorative chains, recently told the New York Times that it had sold 10,000 products in just 24 hours of announcing a presale on Instagram last July.
If rules that require the wearing of masks are lifted at some point, the habit may become permanent, at least when people are in crowded spaces like bars, restaurants, and arenas.
See also: As new strains of coronavirus raise questions about mask quality, the US N95 market is still facing supply issues
In a recently published white paper, the professional consulting firm Deloitte reports: “A short-term regulatory intervention such as mandatory face masks can trigger a training period that affects the” new normal “.”
2. Our personal approach to wellness
The pandemic has inspired many people to take a more active role in their health.
In their latest trending report, marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson notes that companies are seeing an increasing need for technology to help us track our health in our homes – such as blood pressure monitors, sleep sensor patches, and devices that measure lung function and airway prices.
“We have seen our homes reinvented as a core element of healthcare with telemedicine, virtual and remote care technologies as the main drivers of change during COVID-19,” said Deeptha Khanna, director of personal health at Philips. a global health technology company said in a statement.
He predicts the changes will be permanent.
The urgent need to practice social distancing, coupled with the fear of seeking medical care, has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine among many patients and practitioners. In the first quarter of last year, when the pandemic began, telemedicine visits increased 50% compared to the same period last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“By enabling generous public and private reimbursement policies, providers have had to spin quickly and acclimatize patients quickly,” noted Dr. Howard Forman, practicing physician and professor of management and public health at Yale University.
Connected: How to get the most out of a telemedicine appointment
If patients become more familiar with technology and regulations to make it easier for providers to reimburse, the widespread use of telehealth can persist after the pandemic ends.
4. Home fitness
While home fitness was popular before the pandemic, the closings of gyms and health clubs pushed sales of home exercise programs and exercise equipment like Peloton, PTON + 5.59% to an all-time high. And when the gyms reopen, nine in ten people say they’ll be continuing their home workouts, according to fitness company Beachbody in its The Future of Fitness survey.
Many people have grown used to the convenience and ease of home training. Going forward, going to the gym may become more of a hybrid activity, with employees splitting their time between home and office, for example.
5. Work from home
With the “work from home” trend, companies are saving money on office space and employees who can do so are saving time and money on commuting. Twitter TWTR (+ 4.87%) and Google togetL (+ 0.30%) support the practice, while Netflix NFLX (-0.19%) is not a fan.
Working from home is nothing new. Before the pandemic, surveys showed that many employees wanted the facility at least temporarily. In the future, however, it could become more acceptable and attractive as more employees settle into its routine and more employers see its worth.
The Harvard Business Review reports that the number of workers working from home is likely to increase after “most professionals find ways to be productive outside of the office”.
But not everyone sees it that way. Many workers lack community and creativity when working from home, writes New York Times columnist Kevin Roose.
“Studies have shown that people who work together in the same room tend to solve problems faster than remote workers, and that team cohesion suffers when working remotely,” said Roose.
6. Withdrawal from supermarkets
Living the life of the Jetsons, futuristic cartoon characters from the 1960s TV show that lived in 2062 and where Jane Jetson went to shop for groceries at the push of a button, was a dream come true. But the future is now. In the early months of the pandemic, a survey of shoppers found that nearly 80% had purchased groceries online, compared with less than 40% before the pandemic.
Jim Hertel, senior vice president of analytics at data and analytics company Inmar Intelligence, told Supermarket News that the trend towards online grocery shopping “is likely to continue even if restrictions are lifted.” That’s because shoppers have gotten used to this routine, with convenience being the main driving force, he said.
Irene Levine, of Pleasantville, NY, said she has been ordering groceries online since the pandemic began and will never look back. “We are happy with the quality of the food, the ease of ordering and the time saved,” she said.
7. Increased hotel hygiene
Hotel bookings have taken a hit during COVID-19, but the industry is trying to recover through measures taken to ensure the health and safety of its customers. The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, for example, has consistently implemented some initiatives it implemented during the pandemic, such as hand sanitizing stations across the resort, touchless guest transactions, advanced cleaning measures, and air filtration systems.
Hilton Hotels HLT, + 2.41%, works with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic to ensure a sense of security and cleanliness. The chain is also considering providing hybrid daily work environments for local workers and Staycation customers in some of their spaces.
8. Hybrid work and conferences
The hybrid approach offers the opportunity to bring a small group together in person and involve a larger virtual audience, said Nancy Davis, chief creative officer of the Global Wellness Summit. The result, she found, is that those who have access to an event virtually feel part of something dynamic, and those in person have a wider audience to connect with.
While virtual conferencing may not provide the same benefits as face-to-face meetings, executives will find that the savings often outweigh the costs, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
9. Comfortable fashion
Casual Fridays have become casual every day as companies like Banana Republic have launched work-from-home collections that offer relaxed styles with an eye for comfort and function.
But how will fashion resurface when we’re back in the world?
The beauty historian, author and trend expert Rachel Weingarten predicts a step towards a high level of conceptual comfort.
Also read: Michael Kors becomes a stronger brand by getting smaller
“When there is some kind of industrial revolution, fashion follows. Although our current fashion world isn’t exactly in fashion, it’s a lot of fun in many ways, ”said Weingarten. “You may see sequins or embellishments on comfortable clothing. It will likely be different from anything we’ve worn before. “
Weingarten also sees the resurgence of bold pieces and longer earrings for women “as they are currently difficult to wear when putting a mask on,” she said.
Sheryl Kraft is a freelance journalist, essayist, and non-fiction writer based in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Her writing covers all areas and focuses on health, wellness, and fitness.
This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org, © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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