What Will Our ‘New Normal’ Be When the Crisis Is Over?

What Will Our ‘New Normal’ Be When the Crisis Is Over?
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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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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jessie Ace is host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast. A podcast that aims to inspire people living with chronic illness. She’s interviewed everyone from Paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, and marathon runners. She’s also a writer and illustrator for the biggest MS charities worldwide such as the multiple sclerosis today, National MS Society, MS Society UK, shift.MS, MS-UK amongst others and she has also written articles and illustrated for Momentum magazine, MS Matters and New Pathways. Jessie was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and says MS makes her feel blessed every day to be able to live a new life and to connect with so many amazing people. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary – she wants to change this for other young people and support them through the process by being a patient advocate.
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Jessie Ace is host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast. A podcast that aims to inspire people living with chronic illness. She’s interviewed everyone from Paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, and marathon runners. She’s also a writer and illustrator for the biggest MS charities worldwide such as the multiple sclerosis today, National MS Society, MS Society UK, shift.MS, MS-UK amongst others and she has also written articles and illustrated for Momentum magazine, MS Matters and New Pathways. Jessie was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and says MS makes her feel blessed every day to be able to live a new life and to connect with so many amazing people. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary – she wants to change this for other young people and support them through the process by being a patient advocate.

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5 comments

  1. Rick Miller says:

    I have worked from home in the trucking industry for the last 20 years before I was diagnosed with MS. Even with the technology limitations (speed mainly) we had even 20 years ago, working from home is one of the most fulfilling experiences one can have. Certainly the camaraderie that is developed in a normal work setting is lacking but with video conferencing it is not so far behind what can be accomplished in an office. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to work from home. I appreciate the posting and look forward to your work in the future.

    • Jessie Ace says:

      I totally agree Rick! I feel so much more fulfilled working for myself from home than I ever did driving to an office where I was under the control of someone else. Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂 stay healthy, stay well and stay #ENabled

  2. ERIK OXY says:

    Throughout human history during times of crisis, when Man is faced with insurmountable odds, man has developed, invented and/or discovered his greatest necessities in times of need. Maybe only history will tell…..

  3. Eileen Sontupe says:

    hello..my adult son has MS. He has been working from home since the quarantine. His job is 100 % computer related. They have been sending out notices for people to return to work soon. My question is that he works inside a hospital and it makes me very nervous due to people having the virus there. Is there a law or anything that could help him to continue working from home until it is safe? He lives in PA

    • Jessie Ace says:

      Hi Eileen, I wouldn’t be able to tell you i’m afraid, I’d recommend getting in touch with your local authorities they might be able to help. Stay safe and stay #ENabled, Jess

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