After adjusting to our lives during quarantine, we are now beginning to think about the end of the crisis, and what the world will look like afterward. As our states emerge from lockdown at different paces, opening back up one-by-one, we, as a nation, are adjusting to our "new normal", asking ourselves, "What will our new lives look like?"
Lessons From the Past
The 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed about 675,000 people in the U.S., changed hygiene forever. In the following years, signs bearing the message, "Spitting is Unlawful" sprouted up in places like train stations. Covering your cough grew to be considered common courtesy, where before the pandemic, this etiquette was almost unheard of.
In the wake of COVID-19, certain habits we've adapted will likely stick around as well, says Kate White, a behavioral scientist at the University of British Columbia. "Our vigilance around things like disinfecting surfaces — that's probably going to continue," she says.
Our new ways of greeting (elbow bumps or "live long and prosper" salutes instead of handshakes), and interacting with each other (video chats instead of conference-room huddles) are also likely to stick to some degree.
People are accessing more educational resources online for their kids; finding unconventional ways to connect with coworkers, friends, and family; and employers are being more flexible in how they respond to employee needs through more dynamic, cloud-based technology.
Working From Home Will Become the New Normal
Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, says "The pandemic has resulted in what is effectively the largest "work from home" experiment ever conducted in human history. I think we'll see these shifts last well beyond the immediate fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak."
Companies are becoming more comfortable with at least some of their staff working from home. Some CIOs say they might consider letting as much as 25% of their staff work from home. That would mean less people in the office, and in turn, possibly less demand for office space. According to Tim Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies, "I believe that this could signal the death of open space work environments. The experience with COVID-19 will for years make people more aware of working in shoulder-to-shoulder open offices where it is easy for viruses to spread."
Vivek Ravisankar, CEO and cofounder of programming-challenge platform HackerRank says,
"Remote hiring of technical talent will become the norm, accelerated by the normalization of remote work. This is a win-win for the economy and the talent pool, as it allows companies to fill positions quickly with qualified talent and opens up high-paying tech positions to developers everywhere."
Connecting Digitally Will Accelerate
It's becoming more evident every day that the way people are using technology to spend quality time with loved ones, engage with businesses, and perform their jobs is fundamentally shifting to a new normal. Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger, Facebook explains, "Loved ones who hadn't seen each other in years are now seeing each other daily, people are getting creative with virtual happy hours and keeping up with their formerly "physical" lives with shared workouts and virtual birthday parties on products like Messenger. Of course, there will be some tough consequences when we come out the other side of this, but I believe the growing acceptance of technology to help us feel connected will have lasting benefits."
Education Goes Virtual
The change we are seeing right now in education is not something that is likely to revert back to "normal" in the fall. Although teachers will always be integral to the education process, there will need to be continued flexibility and agility when it comes to things like the delivery of content, testing, and grading. "I expect that we will see an increase in blended learning environments that include learning in both the physical classroom setting and online," says Simon Allen, CEO of McGraw-Hill.
Healthcare Will Embrace The Digital Age
The healthcare industry will be greatly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and we can expect digital health technologies to form an essential part of the way forward. Dr. Claire Novorol, cofounder and chief medical officer, Ada Health, explains, "The adoption of digital health tools—from assessment services to telemedicine—has rapidly accelerated…and we are witnessing a step-change in the adoption of digital health solutions, and that this has long-term potential."
AARP's List of 10 Things the Pandemic has Changed for Good
As the world emerges from the crisis, employees will find new ways to interact, entrepreneurs will realize business opportunities, consumers will take advantage of new environments, and policy and regulation will adapt to keep everyone safer in the future. With foresight, the results of these innovations may allow our economic infrastructure to grow stronger as it overcomes these challenging times.
Time keeps ticking away, reminding us that another day has gone by and we are still mostly quarantined to our homes. We've binge-cleaned, exercised, watched TV series, baked all the bread, and boredom is really setting in. So what do we do? Some of us have work to keep us busy, but even that work doesn't fill the void. Where is the fulfillment we used to get when completing a project in the office, and how do we get it back?
There is something in the nature of each of us that generates joy when we are being generous to others. Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." During this time of COVID-19, there are many ways to help others.
How fortunate we are to live in a time when socializing with a person is just a click away! Take advantage of the wonderful technology at our disposal to communicate with others:
It only takes a few minutes out of your day so grab your phone or computer and connect with someone in your community today!
As mentioned above, some people in your community need help getting groceries. It could be an elderly person, an immune-compromised friend, or a neighbor who lost their job. During your trip to the grocery store, why not pick up a few extra items for a home-bound neighbor (and deliver to their front door), or to donate to your community food bank?
If you feel more comfortable donating money, many schools are taking donations to help feed needy families. Contact your child's school teacher to find out how to contribute. If everyone in your school district contributed $10 each, think how much food that would buy!
We have been sheltering at home long enough now that most of us have run out of meal ideas and are ready for a dinner out. This is the perfect time to help local restaurants that may be struggling. It's a win-win for both parties. You don't have to cook and they get to stay open during and hopefully even after COVID-19.
There are several websites set up to help local farmers deliver produce to your home. One is: https://localfarmok.com/. Buying from your local farmer ensures your produce will taste better and last longer. Eating fresher, less processed produce can help you to eat and feel better, all while supporting your local food movement. Shopping on-line for a farm near you that will deliver it to your home eliminates the stress of going to the grocery store and trying to figure out which veggies to buy.
When you need to shop, try to patronize your local merchants. Their business has likely been hit hard by this virus and they will be appreciate your support during this hard time.
Everyone loves getting gifts, even if it is a little thing:
A little something goes a long way. When you give to others, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, it can really make you and someone else feel better!
Get inspired to help your community during this time of challenge. Remember, in addition to helping someone else, giving will also bring you joy.
If you are thinking of selling your home, adding curb appeal can increase your home value 3% – 5% according to Consumer Reports. You can utilize this time while sheltering at home to get your house ready to put on the market, and remember, staging does not stop at the front door! Your home's curb appeal makes a great first impression. Create a vision that will make everyone want to see what's inside.
Here are a few simple, low-cost curb appeal improvements that you can do in a day, a week, or a month, by yourself without hiring a landscaper or handyman.
Your Front Door Makes a Statement
Create a Mood
Get Your Flowerbeds in Shape
Note: Prime spots for flower beds creating curb appeal are at the front corners of the yard, along driveway or walkway, and immediately in front of house.
Add an artistic flair with containers of potted flowers and nice patio furniture to your front porch and back deck. Many times, your existing patio furniture needs to be thinned out. Notice if your deck has become a storage place for outdoor toys and mismatched outdoor furniture.
You may need to rent a storage space to start moving extra items and furniture into. Be objective and try to see your home as if for the first time. Give your potential buyers a blank canvas to paint a picture of what their dream home looks like, starting with curb appeal!