The New Normal: New Ways to Do the Old Stuff

Slowly around the world, shelter-in-place mandates are easing up, mostly in phases, in the hopes of reviving economies. Returning to work, though most of us are, none of us can overlook the new figure in the bigger picture: coronavirus. This new unseen member of all communities now means we cannot go back to how it all used to be. What was “normal,” pre-coronavirus, is hardly possible now. That is if one wishes to avoid contracting the virus. Here’s what we can all expect as we go back out into the world with a “new normal.”

Social Gatherings


Digital technology has allowed people to stay connected despite all types of community lockdowns. Social gatherings and business meetings are done mostly via multi-person video conferencing platforms, VOIP, and social media.

Grocery Shopping


One of the first challenges is that many supermarkets have adopted adjusted operating hours or limited staffing. We now have to contend with queuing outside groceries as they now typically limit shopper occupancy. People are advised to list down grocery needs beforehand to cut down on time spent inside the establishment. Groceries will now typically require face covering for all shoppers before being allowed entry. Plenty of establishments now enforce single-directional aisles. We might even be interacting with our friendly neighborhood cashiers through acrylic barriers now.

Personal Hygiene


Yes, personal hygiene has always been an essential part of life, even before coronavirus. Now, though, the need for intensified and religious hygiene practices need to be effected three-fold. At least.

To protect yourself and others, the CDC has outlined personal measures to abide by:

Doctor’s Appointments and Dental Visits


As people infected with the virus crowded into hospitals, routine medical and dental appointments have become more challenging, both for patients and healthcare practitioners. Many healthcare professionals have opened remote or telehealth consultations channels instead of seeing patients in their physical clinics.

If your physical presence in a medical or dental facility is imperative, expect the following minimum health protocols in place:

Car Washing


Many people have taken to washing their vehicles at home, though some still opt to go to car wash services. Governments have allowed the resumption of commercial car wash operations, though contactless. There is now a surge in automated car wash businesses. While in a car wash facility, observe the following:

Car wash operators and businesses with a wash bay for their vehicles and equipment should operate their facilities as guided by the CDC:

Schooling


In-person schooling has been largely replaced by blended learning. Blended learning could be a combination of remote digital learning, modules, face-to-face instruction, and even community-service learning activities in the curriculum. While plenty of parents and academic institutions believe in the perks of in-person schooling, the blended model appeals to other students since they can work at their own pace with some guidance and instruction from teachers.

These daily aspects of people’s lives are drastically affected by the current global pandemic. The bottom line is that everyone needs to cultivate consistent health and hygiene practices. We will all benefit if we carry these healthy practices beyond the coronavirus.

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