How will life change once quarantine ends?

Jule Hattig, Photo Manager

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus changed all of our lives, it’s normal to begin thinking about potential changes that could happen after reopening the economy and starting to continue social life. Normal interactions like shaking hands to greet someone might not be the same for a long time, as it can easily spread germs. But what other changes are likely? 

Imagine a normal day after the quarantine ends. It may start like before: waking up, showering, and getting dressed, but instead, now we are not only wearing our normal clothes, but a face mask and gloves become normal pieces of our daily dress- up as long as there are still some COVID cases around. 

Then we leave the house; for those with a car, things won’t change a whole lot, but how will things be different for those who rely on public transportation? Now the bus or the train may not be allowed to fill to every seat. We may even have one seat between each passenger. Before getting into the vehicle, we disinfect our hands and there is a safety check that makes sure that everyone is wearing a mask.

Then on the way to work, some may choose to stop for a quick breakfast. If you are driving in a car, you will probably still use drive-thrus or even curbside pickup. Risks can further be minimized by paying online or through an app, avoiding contact with employees. If you are walking or riding a bike, you will go into the store, but there will be a limited number of people allowed inside at once. When you enter the store, you must keep a safe distance from the person in front of you in the line. Then it is your turn– after ordering and receiving your order, you won’t eat in the store, and if you do so, you will be sitting at a table that is sanitized and is marked 6 feet apart from other tables and customers.

Then at work, there are separated offices or tables spread out around the office space. But not everyone is working from the office; working from home is more common now, something that the circumstances during the time of quarantine has led to permanently. Additionally, schools require more hygiene restrictions. If you don’t feel well, students, staff, and others in the building will not be allowed to attend. In general, everything will be cleaner than ever before. 

Grocery shopping won’t be a daily activity anymore; instead, weekly planning will be used more frequently, all of that to avoid unnecessarily entering a building. Additionally to the normal walk in shopping, we will use the opportunity of the curbside pick up. Restaurants will be open again and dine in will be an option like before the pandemic, but  similarly to the new “normal” at grocery stores, people will take advantage of the pick up and delivery service. 

Walking through a mall with friends or family and looking for things that may not needed, which includes walking into many different shops without being successful in buying something, will occur less frequently. This will be the norm until there is a successful vaccine. Until then, we may walk through the mall with a mask and have to decide if it is necessary to enter all these shops. For some, especially the people with the higher risk of infection, online shopping will become the primary way they purchase items. 

Since we will be able to go back to work and school, we will be able to start socializing  and interacting with more people again. For most, going to the movies, concerts, and sporting events is a huge part of their social life. Will we be able to start doing these events of happiness contemporaneous with the daily way to work and school? 

Right now, governors are discussing if there we will be a way to reopen most of these facilities to bring another part of normalcy back. But it is unknown if there will even be a fall sports season. Maybe they will follow other European countries, and will let the games take place without crowded stands. But the crowded concerts with thousands of people will probably still be online or with social distancing restrictions. All of that is in discussion, and we will hopefully have more answers for these questions in the next few months. 

All of these are just possible changes that could occur– maybe some of them will happen and others won’t — but what we know is that the world won’t be the same anymore. Even though some things will change forever, most scientists believe that within a year or 18 months we will have some normalcy again. And we will all be more thankful for the little day-to-day activities that we took for granted.