These past couple of months have been eye opening. Every day I see social media posts by people wishing life would go back to normal. “When this is over …, ” they say. But some things won’t be the same. Some of our behaviors will change, and some should. I’ve been thinking about some of the ways life will look different from now on and things that won’t be the same, some minor and some major.
Thinking about safety nets and backup plans. This crisis has shown how many of us don’t have safety nets, and how we need to take care of each other. We knew this before the crisis, but the pandemic highlighted how bad things can get when you do nothing about the problem. It has shown we need to be flexible and not take anything or anyone for granted. We need to assume anything and everything will change. It has also shown who is essential to keep our country running, and how more should be done to appreciate and protect those workers.
Wearing masks for the foreseeable future. Questions I have asked myself: Will children have to wear masks when they return to school? Will we wear masks to doctor’s offices or during errands from now on? I have a feeling masks are here to stay, perhaps off and on, becoming a part of daily life.
Maintaining distance in public areas, when possible. I have always appreciated space between people in public, but now even more so. What will concerts look like? What about sporting events?
Changing clothes when you get home. This is a minor behaviorial change, but this virus has reminded us to not stay in clothes you have worn to work or to the gym when you get home. It can be gross.
Focusing on teaching proper hygiene. Washing our hands more often and using hand sanitizer more often. This has highlighted how we should teach children how to properly wash their hands and model that behavior. I already washed my hands a lot before this because I change diapers and clean frequently, but now it’s even more frequent.
Wiping down everything that comes into the house. I’ve read conflicting information about whether it is necessary, but we do it anyway for peace of mind. You might not ever really think about how many people touch surfaces or food before you grab them.
Wiping down things that anyone hands you. Our debit and credit cards are often touched by cashiers, who interact with many people. We exchange cash. Delivery drivers bring us boxes that have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles. If we weren’t doing it before, we will now think about wiping things down more often.
Calling friends and family more often. I have not done a great job at this in the past, but this year, even before the pandemic, I wanted to try to be a better friend and family member. This has only highlighted the need to stay connected.
I hope this doesn’t come off as alarmist. I have just been thinking about behaviors I have already changed and the ways we will need to adjust in the near future. Have you made any changes because of what’s going on?