The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way we live. While we are still waiting for the vaccine, we have no choice but to stay cautious. COVID-19 virus is highly infectious and devious – infected individuals may not show any symptoms (asymptomatic). To add, incubation period is up to 14 days – means one may already be infected but won’t know it yet until it manifests for up to 2 weeks later. And the greatest threat is that – the virus is fatal -especially for older patients and for those with existing health conditions. While the world is still racing for a vaccine, all we can do for now is to slow down with utmost caution.
We can’t stay in “lockdown” for so long. We need to get our lives back, while still keeping ourselves safe from the virus. Knowing how deceitful COVID-19 is, we need to reach a compromise. We gradually resume with our daily activities – but with precautionary measures. This will be the New Normal:
Social Distancing – no more handshakes and physical pleasantries for social functions. Proximity of interaction is at least on “social degree” (1 meter up).
Personal Hygiene & Cleaning Up – frequent hand washing, bathing, disinfecting commonly touched areas
PPE / masks / shields – once thought an overreaction, wearing a mask will become a public etiquette.
Work from Home – with limited public transportation, employees will now be telecommuting if applicable.
Rise of Digital – online shopping & delivery / digital banking / video telephony / online education / online worship & entertainment / the cloud
Online Shopping & Delivery Services – queuing to buy food and other essentials is a pain and waste of time. People will pay to have the goods delivered straight to their doorstep.
Digital Banking – adaptation of online banking, gcash, paymaya, coins, various e-wallets, and cryptocurreny will rise, as people will avoid physically going to the banks
Video Telephony / Video meetings – social meetings / gatherings will now be online – thru video conferencing.
Online Learning / Education – It is earlier predicted that the education system will shift from traditional to online, and from general standard to skills-based learning. The pandemic made the massive adaptation earlier, with more universities providing online classes / distance learning options.
Online / Home worship – as social gatherings are still restricted, religious services will continue to stream online via youtube/facebook live or video telephony apps. Tithing and collection of voluntary contributions will mostly be thru digital banking.
Online Entertainment – as most people are staying at home and leisure is limited, user base of facebook, youtube views, and subscriptions for netflix and other on-demand media will rise. Movie/TV production will temporarily halt, and media companies will monetize their content online.
Localized economy – travel restrictions, and hampered international trade, will force communities to prioritize local goods and services.
Curfew Hours – communities will continue imposing curfew hours to restrict movement.
Food Production – agriculture will be once again mainstream. This pandemic made people realized, a scenario may happen that they have money but no food available to buy.
More than 50 days after “lock down,” and our covid-19 cases soared to 10,000+ with no sign of slowing down. The infected keeps adding on daily. Our curve is still rising, though relatively manageable, the toll is heavy for our healthcare workers as 1900+ of them contracted the virus. Analysts said we may have reached 250,000+ cases by now have we not implemented drastic measures.
COVID-19 virus is really a tough one. In less than 60 days since WHO declared it as a pandemic, the world already had 3.9+ million cases and lost 270,000+ lives. This growth is exponential – a very good example of compounding and snowball effect. As the vaccine won’t be ready soon, we are to adjust with the “New Normal.”
On the positive note, this pandemonium gave mother earth a time to heal itself, with less pollution and slightly lesser population. The Corova virus and its threat made us closer with our families and made us realize our priorities. Our “bayanihan spirit” is awakened, with our government leading the efforts thru the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” and its P275 billion war chest. The long break gave us a breathing space, and ample time to plan ahead for the future. Change is inevitable, we adapt.
Let’s welcome the new normal.