The world will not be the same again. Not for a long time at least. The COVID-19 coronavirus has changed it permanently. The new reality which we will face when the virus subsides – if it ever does – will be vastly different to what exists now.
Firstly, masks are here to stay. People will have to go to work with masks. Students will have to attend school wearing masks. Teachers will have to teach with mask. Persons entering businesses and forms of public transportation will be required to wear masks. This will change the world as we know it. You will pass someone on the road and will not recognize him or her unless they shout out to you. Many people are confused about the utility of masks. Many feel that a mask protects them. It does but only to an extent. When you wear a mask, you are protecting others from being infected by you, rather than the other way around. Thus, it is important that everyone wears a mask once they are out in the public.
Social distancing will have to continue to suppress the virus and to avoid a future outbreak. This will affect the way we relate to each other. Persons will have to keep at certain distance when going into shops and when speaking to others whether in public or in the homes. Hugging and embracing or shaking hands will be risky acts. How do you have a meal in a restaurant if social distancing is to be maintained? This will change the way we even date.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven how vulnerable societies are to microorganisms. The world will now have to take more seriously contagious diseases, and biological warfare and biological terrorism now assume even more frightening dimensions.
Working from home is here to stay. The present pandemic has been a revelation in showing how many people can work just as effective from home as they can from the office. Working from home has its benefits. It reduces overheads for employers. It has also shown employers how overstaffed they are and how they can get much more done without having to bring people to a central location.
International travel is going to be different in the new reality. Given the number of countries where the virus has been found, the tourism sector is going to take a big hit. People are not going to be keen on touring other countries, at least not in the near-term. Hotels and the aviation sector are going to be severely affected. As a result, the tourism sector will change forever. Already, some persons are speaking about virtual tours. This may become the new reality.
Care homes, especially for the elderly, have borne the brunt of the deaths in this pandemic in most countries. The pandemic has killed persons of all ages but has been particularly harsh on the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions. The rapid spread of the virus in care homes has had devastating effects. The design and number of persons future homes will be allowed to house will be reduced drastically as new regulations are put in place to ensure there is no recurrence. This will also impact on persons visiting these care homes
Entertainment houses – pubs, bars, cinemas, theatres and restaurants – will have to face a new reality which may put them out of the business. It is hard to see in the short-term persons venturing in large numbers to the cinemas. This will mean that home-streaming services will increase and most movies will now have to be looked at from home.
The future of sports is still uncertain. The German League has restarted without fans in the stand and this takes away from the atmosphere which is needed to generate TV and cable sales. Sport is big business and its future is up in the air. As countries begin to ease their lockdowns, a new reality dawns. The world has changed forever. People will have to change too.
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