Post -Covid world — what is the “new normal”?
2020 is fast turning out to be a nightmare that simply doesn’t seem to end, with the ongoing Covid crisis being the worst part of that nightmare itself.
The crisis has also got a lot of us regular folks thinking and planning non-stop about a post-covid world, if we survive through this hellish experience, that is. Now that knowledgable folks and people in power at the very top of the food chain have declared that life will not be normal again (sample article here >> https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/08/us/life-after-coronavirus-changed-laurie-garrett/index.html), Who (no pun intended :) )defines the “new normal”? Which individual and/or institution has the intellect, moral obligation, and conviction of belief backed by irrefutable data to define the so-called “new normal”? Also, what would be the defined parameters in this “new normal”?
For example, would going out on weekends ever be the same again? What about the movie-going experience- the forgotten art of walking into a closed, confined space filled with all sorts of people, (some of which might be “asymptomatic” for all we know)with innumerable touchpoints which might have been missed by the sanitation and housekeeping team? What if the person sitting right next to you sneezes, *without* a mask or a covering-by -hand? And let’s not even get started about the in-hall ordering experience — the sheer number of touchpoints and possibilities of coming in contact with an infected person/surface/object is mind-boggling.
In the same vein, how about the experience of purchasing stuff from the mall — the act of going into a shop in a confined space with lots of people present and there being unregulated movement amongst them, the “touch and feel” aspect of judging a product and evaluating its worthiness before deciding on purchase- every minute aspect needs to be re-evaluated and re-assessed for a post covid world if there ever be one.
Or Travel? Same questions from a different vantage point — the idea of visiting faraway lands, different countries with a different climate, people and hygiene habits — staying in hotel rooms occupied previously by unknown people, eating buffet lunches/dinners in a room full of strangers, traveling by public transport.. the list can go and on…
Every possibility of such kind needs to be reassessed, every contingency needs to be planned for in advance. Question is, who does it and who takes moral responsibility if things don’t go as planned? By what time would we have such guidelines in place? Will our lives ever be the same again, if not soon then at least in the distant one? Will we as social creatures, have to re-wire our brains fundamentally to not interact with other people, as we usually do? Where does this madness stop, when will we as a social race truly be shackle-free again, if ever?
Tons of questions with no clear answers in sight…