POV: WE LIVE IN A POST COVID WORLD
Ah fresh air – its been awhile our dear friend. Imagine waking up one day with no upsetting and unsettling news about the COVID- 19 pandemic, everything almost seems to go back to the way it is before the virus has spread around the world affecting millions of people, we could finally go out again with out friends, parties, concerts and family gatherings are not prohibited anymore, no strict restrictions and most of all no need for TRAVEL PASSESS. Life in a post COVID world is surely a treat. But wait there’s a catch, why are we continuing the habits we have formed during the pandemic? Is it true that Old Habits Die Hard?
Now that we are living in a post COVID world a lot of our habits during our pandemic life won’t change that easily, sticking to those habits for almost three years now its most likely the routine we are more comfortable by now, our behavioral changes won’t go away overnight, surely some time after we’ll get used to living like we did before the pandemic again, however some of it are here to stay.
“We’ve got here by learning a lot of “new” health behaviour, like wearing masks and sanitizing our hands. Many of us have also developed a variety of social habits to reduce the virus’s spread – such as working from home, shopping online, travelling locally and socializing less.”
WORKING FROM HOME
One of the things our human kind have discovered is the flexibility of working from home, this is probably one of the best discoveries yet, more and more company around the world have opened up and accepted the possibilities if their employees working remotely from now on, a lot of studies show that more and more people prefer working at home as they can manage their time and they have the freedom of flexibility when it comes to working, there is no denying that working from home have its pros and cons but its also no denying that it improves the satisfaction of people, after all those years of nine-to-five in the of ice with barely any energy to have a social life, and employees feeling like there stuck on the cycle they finally saw an opportunity.
However in some other countries working from home might only just be a temporary solution and not a permanent one, In the UK, the proportion of people working from home at least some of the time increased from 27% in 2019 to 37% in 2020, before falling to 30%in January 2022. Similarly, in the US the proportion working from home declined from 35% in May 2020 to 11% in December 2021.
“One of the main reasons people are going back to the office is employers’ expectations. Many companies are concerned that more permanent home working might affect employees’ teambuilding, creativity and productivity."
SHOPPING FROM HOME
The pandemic didn’t really discover this per say, before the pandemic have started there are a lot of avid shoppers that use online shopping platforms like Shein, Amazon, Zara, Zalora, Fashionova etc., to shop for home items, clothes, footwear’s and appliances even. Online shopping have increased its popularity during the pandemic as people have discovered it was as easy as blinking, they didn’t need to walk or drive towards stores to buy anything and that they can do it at the comfort of their own homes without risking exposure to the virus. Shopping from home doesn’t necessarily mean just items that are usable or wearable but
also edible! Food delivery apps are flooding with consumers every
minute, every hour everyday, while the pandemic was ongoing and the risk grew everyday going to favorite restaurants or fast food chains to eat is almost impossible and here plays the food delivery systems which offers all the food options from restaurants around your area.
But is online shopping here to replace the actual retail stores?
“It doesn’t seem so. Shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores has already started to recover.”
Recent data on people’s movements, gathered anonymously from mobile devices, shows how in many countries, before omicron hit, travel to retail and recreation spaces was back up to pre-pandemic levels, and is already starting to rebound after omicron. The rise in online sales has also not been as dramatic or sustained as many predicted.
One of the most affected incomes of countries around the world when the pandemic hit was the tourism and travel agencies, with flights being canceled, travel bans being implemented around the world travel plans was suddenly halted to a stop. Airports have suddenly felt like a ghost town, tourist spots across the world is empty and millions of people lost their jobs overnight because of the pandemic, out of all the adjustments that we have to go through post COVID is travelling. The travel agencies, tourism and airlines were hit greatly and they are still recovering from the big lost they endured during the pandemic. So hold on to your
passports yet, and take more time to plan your big vacation.
“The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization projects that international travel in 2022 will still be down by nearly a half compared to 2019.”
One British survey conducted last September found that while 80%of people were planning on holidaying in the UK in the next year, only around 40% were considering going abroad. In comparison, in the 12months up to July 2019, 64% of Brits travelled abroad for a holiday according to one travel industry body. People’s reluctance to travel has been largely down to concerns over the virus and confusion over travel rules. As worries decline and rules get lifted, we may see a “mini-boom” in holiday making
There might be little habits we can pick up during the pandemic that we would cross-over to the post pandemic world, when socializing with people we can’t help but sanitize our hands and sanitize everything around us as much as possible, being used to that habit can help a lot in still maintaining a hygienic habit that can benefit us even in the post pandemic world, it isn’t wrong to sanitize and clean everything around you and those that you touch because even without a pandemic lurking around a lot of health issues can be picked up just by not being hygienic enough, hepatitis B for example, amoeba, food poisoning and etc., so maintaining the habit of being hygienic will still benefit you in the post pandemic world we now live in. And we would still probably be used to wearing mask too!
“But truly, only time will tell how much the pandemic will have changed our habits.”
The extent to which we’ll go back to our old ways may also depend on our personality traits, which have been shown to shape our compliance with new behaviour. For example, those more open to new experiences by nature, or more extroverted, may be more eager to travel internationally or socialize in larger groups.
Finally, the pandemic may have served as a reminder of how much we appreciate everyday interactions with others, in shops, restaurants and soon. People may be keen to return to familiar ways that revive this –for example, picking something up in a store on the way home from work. Above all, the pandemic has taught us that we need to connect with others and that there are limits as to how much online communication can replace real, face-to-face interactions.