It has been nearly a year since the world closed up. There were some bright moments last summer when countries started to ease down the restrictions, and we thought the coronavirus crisis was over. In Spain, we reopened with a four-stage plan towards the ‘new normality.’ Once we arrived there, everything got shut again.
Who would have thought the virus was going to toss us for more than a year now? And another one or two, maybe? When is it finally over? And will it ever be over? I wonder what the second return to the new normality is going to look like. I think it might be somehow like this.
After the vaccination
Most probably, the world will start spinning again once most of the population is immunized against COVID-19. That might not be soon, though, given that some countries have not yet rolled out the vaccination process. In the meantime, we will keep living in a society of masks and social distancing.
Our kids will be learning through Zoom meetings, and we will be working from home along with them. We will have our lunch delivered as we will want to avoid crowds in the shops. And, then, we will carry on in the hard work. In the evening, we will binge-watch Netflix series and go to bed with a smile of satisfaction. And the same thing over and over again.
Shifting to the home office
We might actually bring that remote work with us to the future, to the life after the pandemic. Because during that first year it has proven itself to be more efficient than working from an office.
First of all, there is no commute, and the stress connected to it. We can spend the two hours we would otherwise pass on a train or bus with our family or have a short ‘me time.’ There is also more flexibility in remote work. You can wake up earlier and have everything done by noon or the other way around. A six-hour working day? How come, you ask? Because it has been confirmed that working from home is more efficient, as there is no gossip or unnecessary meetings involved.
We do not see our colleagues that much, and we might lack human contact. Also, the majority of traveling for business will probably be canceled even after the pandemic. However, instead, we will be able to dedicate some saved time to our colleagues and maybe go on a team-building trip.
It is improbable that workers will go back to their offices soon also because of economic reasons. Take London City, for instance. The sky-high rents of commercial spaces could be spent on wages and other perks.
Going on vacation
What about the holiday, you ask? We had to skip last summer. There is no doubt we will go for another paradise-like holiday again one day. But I would not plan it for this year, as many government officials suggest. Some of them have proposed COVID-19 vaccine passports, which would allow travelers to visit other countries without the need to take a PCR test or quarantine. The proposal is yet in the stage of discussion, though.
A staycation could be an option, then. Have you heard of it? It is a sort of vacation, but you spend it somewhere in your home country or even at home going for just sporadic trips. It was popular in Europe already before the pandemic. We would go for bicycle trips, hiking, swimming to nearby lakes, and enjoy a couple of drinks in beer gardens during the evenings.
The latter was also canceled due to the pandemic. And big celebrations, family gatherings, parties, and summer festivals.
It is difficult to say when we will start meeting friends in a pub again and whether or not to make plans for this summer. When will things get back to normal is written in the stars? Let’s hope for the best, but it certainly will not be the same as before.