Life after COVID-19: road to recovery in the new normal

No industry was spared from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal lives and businesses were forced to shift and shape to adapt to a new kind of normal. Disruptions include lockdowns within cities, tighter border controls, and travel restrictions—all while countries scramble to focus on their readiness for early detection and prevention of a further spread.

Countries such as the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, New Zealand, India, Japan have worked on or are working on travel bubbles to allow for movement between countries in support of an economic rebound. Other countries like Singapore and Hong Kong are eyeing at signing this type of relaxed movement with certain countries in 2021.

What’s next?: reshaping personal and social lives

Life is not the same as we know it during a pandemic. The fear and anxiety of contracting the virus brought a kind of change that is unprecedented. As a consequence, our way of thinking, attitudes, and behaviours have radically shifted. We look at how these changes have affected our way of living now:

Negative effects

→ Emotional well-being is compromised as a result of discouraged physical interactions, including hugging and kissing when greeting others. Socializing activities, such as drinks after work, dinner with friends, and the casual bowling nights are cancelled indefinitely.

→ Big gatherings such as weddings and birthdays have become unceremonial and minimal in nature to avoid close distancing.

→ Senior citizens and children of a certain age range are not allowed in public places in certain countries as they are the most vulnerable to the virus.

→ A 15.5% increase in depressive disorders was recorded in October, A French survey showed.

→ Job loss is at an alarming rate and with little to no source of income, people are forced to adjust their lifestyles.

→ Due to sweeping business closures in COVID-affected countries, economic observers are predicting a global recession.

Positive effects

The time spent in traffic for the working class is traded with more bonding time with family at home.

A global movement was begun to share intelligence about the virus to develop social guidelines and a vaccine.

→ Public health is being largely scrutinized and given heavier importance with more funding and attention to its advancement.

Businesses have embraced remote working and digitalization at a heightened pace to keep up with the needs of their clients.

→ Upskilling became a norm in order to adapt to careers in the virtual space, allowing more people to continue working from home.

In the health space, hygiene and sanitation was given prime attention as major defenses against the virus and companies are forced to quickly evolve to provide employees proper workspaces, even after the crisis.

Cities are forced to innovate to provide better living spaces for people while taking into account the health benefits in the time of COVID. Milan plans to convert 35 km of urban lane into a network of bike lanes and walkways to equip people with safe spaces to travel once the restrictions are lifted.

Forward-thinking: shaping communities in the new normal

When people speak of the new normal, it suggests that way of living may not return to the way it was prior to the virus outbreak. The new normal encourages certain conducts and behaviours, especially in public, to safeguard the health and well-being of our families and the community as a whole.

Here are certain ways individuals can adapt to the new global lifestyle:

• Follow enforced guidelines for everybody’s safety

Wearing masks, face shields, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene may tend to be a nuisance for some, but protecting ourselves is protecting our family and the community. When vaccine become available to everyone, people may still be expected to act accordingly and responsibly for an extended period

•  Seek help early

While it’s normal and healthy to feel anxious sometimes, a heightened sense of anxiety, stress, or even loss of appetite should be handled with care. It is easy to misunderstand one’s emotions towards changes and challenges, especially during largely uncertain times as we are in today.

•  Review your medical care coverage

Due to the unpredictability of current times and other health concerns, it is prudent to review your current medical coverage. Due to the changing nature of the current environment, insurance with sufficient coverage is one of your best financial security tools.

•  Be accustomed to a digital life 

The new normal has forced most people to move into digital, from zoom calls for family catch-ups and business meetings to contactless food deliveries in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. Even medical consultations are now mostly online. Meanwhile, clinics, hospitals, and other health institutions are forced to adapt new technologies for the safety and convenience of their clientele.

In conclusion, while individuals, businesses, and economies continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, more and more is being done to shift mindset, behaviours, and future actions for life in the new normal. Amid a slow rebound, we need to look ahead and remain cautious during this recovery phase.

At this time, it is best to abide by public health guidelines and continue to look after your physical, mental, and emotional well-being to help you cope through the isolation and social changes. Keeping a balanced diet with sufficient exercise can help strengthen your immune system.

While we continue finding ways to adapt to the new normal, one must be ready for details on how and where to get treatment in your local area and be informed about community developments to act responsibly during the crisis.