What Will Our ‘New Normal’ Be When the Crisis Is Over?
What will the future look like after this coronavirus craziness is over?
One thing is certain: The world can’t go back to being “normal.” This time in isolation has raised many issues and broken down so many barriers. Only now do we realize how broken our systems were.
After this, people likely will ask things like: Why can’t we do telemedicine like we did last time? Why do I have to drive two hours for an appointment in which I’m told only that my new medication is doing fine?
Or, why can’t I carry on working from home, boss? Why do you need me to travel three hours on the train for a 45-minute meeting? Can’t we video chat?
I’m not saying this entire situation needed to happen. It’s been tough. Many people have lost others during this time, myself included, and all we can do is focus on the positives right now.
One thing that has become clear to me is that without people with art education, we’d all be feeling lost right now. In times of financial crisis, the arts often are among the first to go to save funding, but that should change. Without the arts, there would be no TV, radio, gaming, galleries, photos, and more. Even the patterns on your cushions would not be there without art education.
Here’s our current situation as I see it:
- Nearly everyone knows how to use video calls now, even many grandparents.
- The people who can work from home are now set up to do so.
- Those working from home probably are getting used to it (and might start to enjoy it).
- The homeless are being allowed to stay in hotel rooms for the first time.
- Wildlife is returning to urban areas.
- We’ve noticed a reduction in the world’s CO2 emissions because fewer cars are on the road.
- Many business owners have adapted their businesses to operate online, eliminating the need for permanent offices in many cases.
- Employers have had to trust their employees to work at home, a huge barrier that people with chronic illnesses long have faced.
- Celebrities are using their platforms and wealth for good, donating to food banks, various charities, and essential workers, and asking people to stay at home.
- The able-bodied public realizes how insane staying at home makes us. This situation will always be a reference point.
One of the biggest things I think will come from this is that employers will have fewer excuses when it comes to job flexibility for people with a chronic illness. If you struggle to work set hours or to drive to a place of employment like I used to, employers don’t have a reason to disallow home working now that it’s possible.
This situation, in my view, has raised the need for accessibility awareness. It is also my hope that the world will be more mindful of those who must isolate themselves due to their illnesses. This will help, hopefully, to avoid the classic “lucky you for getting to stay at home!” line that drives us all crazy.
The experience also has made me realize that when it’s over, I need to stop working so much and get out more. I think I also will appreciate hugs, meals out (I’m missing meals out a lot), and time spent with family and friends so much more after this.
How do you think our future world will change? Please share in the comments below.
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