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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." 

Other Possibilities

  • Restaurants might permanently link up with delivery service platforms or expand their reach via ghost kitchens.
  • Quantum computers "Within the next 12 to 18 months, we're expecting quantum computers to start to routinely solve problems that supercomputers and cloud computing cannot. When humanity faces the next pandemic, I'm hopeful that a quantum computer will be able to model the virus, its interactions within the human body that will drive possible solutions, and limit the future economic damage and human suffering." - Peter Chapman, CEO and president, quantum-computing company IonQ
  • According to Joe Brotherton, chairman of Democracy Live, proven technologies now exist that offer mobile, at-home voting while still generating paper ballots. "This system is not an idea; it is a reality that has been used in more than 1,000 elections for nearly a decade by our overseas military and disabled voters. This should be the new normal."


AARP's List of 10 Things the Pandemic has Changed for Good

  • Working from home
  • Seeing your doctor
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Staying in touch
  • Wearing face masks
  • Going to the movies
  • Traveling by air
  • Riding public transportation
  • Protecting your privacy
  • Washing your hands


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.


Categories: Community, Health, Education, Safety, COVID-19, Wellness




During the COVID19 crisis, we have discovered that there is a new normal including standing six feet apart in lines and in public, sanitizing items we have purchased before bringing them into our homes, wearing a mask in public, and not touching our faces, to name just a few. Another new normal is the realization that working remotely is likely here to stay.

New to Working From Home?

Stay safe working from home with these handy tips

"If I can't keep up with my own password, how can a hacker figure it out?"

Passwords are one of the more important security items on home devices. Passwords are a pain, but they probably won't go away. Why can't we just have one password, and why do we keep having to change them? A lot of companies are talking about biometric ways to get around them like fingerprint, retina and facial scans – offered on our phones now, but remote systems still require passwords.

If you use the same password everywhere, you are opening a door for a hacker to get in. Services are breached every day. Hackers go in and grab passwords and email addresses from breached websites and, using automated tools, see if they get a hit that works on other services such as your Amazon or Apple account, or anywhere your credit card information is stored. They can find out where your email lives because that is public information. If they break into that, then it is game over.

Use a password manager and have the passwords completely randomized for every new site you sign up with.

Sites like LastPass -  - has a free plan for husband and wife users to share passwords. 

And, LastPass uses a second authentication method, such as sending a text message to your smart phone, so that even if a hacker got your last password, they wouldn't be able to get past the second authentication step.

If you are leery of storing anything in the cloud, there are password managers that you can store on your computer that encrypt your passwords that can be stored in a locker on your computer.

Don't rely on the default password for your devices to keep you secure. Be sure to update your password on your WiFi router, Alexa, home security camera systems, Ring Video Doorbell system – anything that you have on your home internet system.


Think before You Click!

Never reset your password by clicking on a link in an email that was sent to you without you asking for it first. In other words, if you receive an unprovoked email from a random site saying "Please reset your password by clicking on this link" don't do it!

Watch out for emails that you are not expecting. If you receive an email with an attachment or links that you were not expecting do not open the attachment, even if it is from a friend, relative or colleague. Call the sender to confirm that they really sent it. That person was probably just hacked and that is how the hacker got your email address. 


Have a Backup Strategy

Use the 3-2-1 backup plan:

  • 3 copies of everything
  • Use 2 different spots
  • One offsite away from the computer

In other words, have the first copy on your computer; the second is on a device you can grab if something happens to your computer, such as a thumb drive; and the third copy is somewhere offsite in case of fire or disaster to your home and computer.


Follow Simple Rules for Better Security

  • By having an insecure home network or by reusing passwords for your devices, you give an attacker a way to access your device. 
  • You can put these devices on a different WiFi network from your computer, that way they are segregated from your regular network. 
  • Turn on every security device offered on the website, especially the two step authentication system.
  • Try to keep your business and personal work separated. If your company offers you a laptop and a company email to use while working from home, use them whenever doing company work. Don't use your personal computer or email for conducting your company business. Don't share your company laptop with your family members. Think of it as being like letting your teenaged son drive your company vehicle that you bring home.
  • If your company offers IT Security training, take it! They probably have encrypted system that you should know about. 
  • Don't reveal anything too personal about yourself on social media. Limit details you share about going on a trip or what days you might be going into your company's office that would let an attacker know your whereabouts. 
  • Many systems come with an anti virus protection, but it is a good idea to have an added layer of anti virus protection on top of that. An internet security filter can keep out information that is unfit for business as well as help keep your children safe from visiting something inappropriate online.
  • A breach identification vendor who is familiar with and studies how hackers work – actively looking for any hacker footholds on your computer 


Hackers Are Doing Business On The Dark Web  

The dark web is a place where information about us is traded. The information that is gathered from a security breach is posted on the dark web, such as user names, and passwords, as well as viruses that are available and how to use them. It's a scary place. You can check to see if you have been involved in a data breach and if your information might be posted out on the dark web at  Subscribers will be notified if their information has been put out on the dark web.

You can hire an IT Professional for remote work guidelines and checklists for general home computer safety. The information in this article was supplied by Brad Otto, owner of P3C. Check out his website at




What Are You Waiting For?

If you have toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but responsibilities and life events always seemed to get in the way, NOW is your chance to cease the day and start! You may have sound bites in your head telling you, "You have no talent" or, "You are too old to start now" - but nothing is further from the truth. Playing an instrument is a craft that can be learned by almost everyone. According to Charles Cleyn, a musician, marketer and life-long learner, there are approximately 500,000,000 guitar players in the world! If that many people can play a guitar, then so can you.

No More Excuses

If the reason for not pursuing your artistic talents has always been, "I don't have time", you can now scratch that excuse off the list. During this period of sheltering in place, there is plenty of room in each day for music lessons and practice time.  If you procrastinated in the past because there were no teachers nearby, well, say goodbye to that one too. Thanks to the internet, there are endless options for learning to play an instrument. 

Pre-recorded video lessons, Skype lessons, training modules, and online exercises are all examples of the new ways musicians can fine-tune their skill, or learn a new instrument, without even having to walk out their front door. There are a lot of advantages to taking music lessons online, but there are a few disadvantages to be aware of, too.

The benefits of online music lessons far outweigh the drawbacks

There are so many benefits to taking lessons online, and just a few disadvantages:


Convenience – The biggest advantage is that it is ridiculously convenient. You can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule and from the comfort of your home.

More Choices – No worry about finding a teacher in your area. Online lessons mean you can find the perfect teacher for you, even if they live 1,000 miles away. But do try to access a teacher in your community. Supporting local businesses is of major importance during the COVID19 business shutdown. 

Cost Effectiveness – Due to the convenience, flexibility and lower overhead costs to teachers, online music lessons can be lower-priced than traditional, in-house lessons.

Support Opportunities – Online sites offer support tools like community forums, training modules, and digital content. Sharing and connecting with others online is beneficial, and offers you a supportive online community to lean on.


Physical Guidance – Beginners often struggle with the physical challenge of how to handle the instrument, how to place their fingers, posture, etc. Not having a person there to demonstrate physically can be a little daunting at first, and requires perseverance.

Motivation – With online lessons the only person holding you accountable is YOU! Be sure you are ready for the commitment.

Now all you need to do is drag your 7th grade band clarinet from beneath your bed, dust off the case, and start your Google search!


During this time of pandemic, more so than in years past, many people are starting vegetable gardens right where they live. Growing your own vegetables means not only fewer trips to the grocery store and venturing out into public, but a way to help you feel like you are making a difference when your world feels out of control. 

Where To Begin?

For people who are new to farming, it is hard to know where to begin. Luckily for us all, there is limitless one-on-one advice on line, teaching us the "a, b, c's" of how to grow your own vegetables. Gail Langellotto, a professor of horticulture and statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener program at Oregon State University offers a free course through the end of April. Even if you miss the free introduction period, it is worth taking her introduction to gardening course. 

You Don't Need 100 Acres 

In fact, you don't even need any land at all! You can start your home garden on your porch or deck, using containers or decorative pots. With container gardening, all you need is a vessel, good soil, and plenty of sunlight. 

Jennifer Blackwell, one of our very own Chinowth & Cohen Realtors agent, has joined many Oklahomans who have started home gardens on their porches, big and small. She was recently featured in the Oklahoman talking about her experience.

As a segway from containers to raised beds, many people have adopted straw bale gardening, or tilled soil gardens. Straw bale gardening is when you use straw bales like raised beds in the yard so that no additional soil is needed.

Get Started With Seeds

Starting out may seem overwhelming but once you get going, you'll be done in no time. In 30-75 days you will have a productive garden of your own!

Start your seeds early, so that when the weather is consistently warm and your garden is ready, they will be too.

You can use used teabags to put seeds into, as it activates the growth process. Use empty Keurig cups or empty egg shells as the container for the teabags. Once the plants are big enough and the weather is warm enough, plant your seedlings right into the garden, giving them plenty of space to stretch their feet. Different varieties need different amounts of space, so be sure to do your research before you plant. 

Do you Prefer a Traditional In-ground Garden?

If you want to forgo the decorative pots or straw bales, and plant directly in the ground, you will need to apply some old fashioned hard work to get the ground ready. 

  • Getting the Grass out - This step requires elbow grease, or better still, a teenager! Skim the grass off the top after wetting it to soften. You can either compost or throw this grass away, but you want to save as much dirt in this process as possible. Smothering the area with a clear plastic tarp may do the same trick, but it could take up to several weeks to kill pests and grass depending on how hot it gets.
  • Preparing the Soil - Begin layering with black ink only newspaper, weed barrier cloth, or cardboard before adding any new dirt to keep any new grass or weeks from growing up in your new garden. 
  • Know your region - Choose plants that will thrive in your planting zone. Test your soil. Some areas have more acidity or clay which makes growing difficult. Depending on your soil quality, you might need to add conditioners to make the atmosphere more hospitable to your new plants.

Handy Tip - Make a blueprint of where you planted which vegetable in your garden because it is easy to forget!

Becoming an urban farmer provides countless benefits to you and the environment. Whether growing a single tomato plant or enough vegetables for you and your entire neighborhood, it can improve your physical health by supplying your diet with nutritious vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Gardening is a way to get outside for some fresh air, physical activity, and absorb vitamin D from the sunshine, all promoting physical health. And don't forget, you can save money by growing your own vegetables!


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