Home Opinion and Features 10 things Covid-19 has changed forever

10 things Covid-19 has changed forever

302
SHARE

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in huge and small ways. Here are 10 things that Covid-19 has changed forever:

Masks have become necessity during the coronavirus outbreak and now the fashion world is ensuring that they become trendy. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

REMOTE working, virtual meetings and healthier lifestyle habits have become part of the new normal.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in huge and small ways. Here are 10 things that Covid-19 has changed forever:

Home is the new office

It’s likely that this will be a more widely accepted phenomenon as companies have seen that people can meet work expectations without spending five days a week in an office. Now, as countries open up again, an increasing number of companies have announced an extension of remote working.

The handshake

Health experts and those who study social behaviours say it might not come back, even when we’re once again able to get closer than 2m. Potential non-contact replacements for now include a small bow, foot bump or President Cyril Ramaphosa’s elbow bump.

Health care goes digital

The pandemic has largely sped up the digital transformation of health care and boosted innovation in how patients can receive and consume care. Those innovations are reflective of where technology has improved in other service sectors.

Education

The pandemic has changed how millions of people around the world are being educated, as classes have relocated online. This forced shift towards online learning could provide the groundwork for some more long-term educational changes.

Virtual meetings

Zoom Meeting Pic: Unsplash

The world has shifted overnight from direct contact to having virtual meetings, whether it is holding board meetings via teleconferencing, putting an accused suspect in a virtual court dock, or people are using versions of video conferencing in a way and to an extent they have never done before.

Healthier lifestyle habits

More flexibility and reduced commuting mean people can find more time to exercise — even if it’s working out at home rather than at the gym. One survey showed the number of people who never exercise decreased since the pandemic began.

Open office space

The open-office concept is a thing of the past, experts say. While hot desking, often from a co-working space, used to be quite a good tactic for many businesses, now shared workstations are fast becoming a thing of the past. With workers working in confined office spaces, office workstations are changing to accommodate social distancing measures and space people out.

Online shopping

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and triggered changes in online shopping behaviours that are likely to have lasting effects. More people will have tried and tested online shopping during lockdown and found it to be a reliable, convenient and less risky alternative to going to the supermarket or the mall.

Hand hygiene

Dr Stefan Hayward of the Department of Food Science testing out some of the hand sanitiser that he and colleagues produced at Stellenbosch University. Picture: Helga Hayward

Since the start of the pandemic, it’s been drilled into us and more importantly, our kids to take better care in keeping our germs to ourselves. Hand washing, which has proved to be the most effective defence against the spread of disease, is likely to become second nature and remain a frequent daily habit.

Wearing masks

Masks have become a necessity during the coronavirus outbreak and now the fashion world is ensuring that they become trendy. With masks advised for the foreseeable future, people are finding ways to incorporate them into their outfits.