Here's what to expect long term from the coronavirus pandemic: “Stay Home”
The coronavirus has uprooted life as we know it. Everything from our social gatherings to our daily errands has been completely changed and most of us are not too fond of the switch. Realistically and sadly, though, life will not go back to what it was for quite some time. Life is going to look different for the next few years, but what exactly does that mean?
Expect the world to change to a mask-wearing culture
A year from now, and even beyond that, expect to still see people wearing masks in public, especially people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Mask-wearing will become a new normal, the way it has been in many Asian countries in recent years.
There will be fewer business trips and more remote work opportunities
With the increase in digital technologies and the realization that some industries can easily continue without sending staff across the county or across the globe, expect business trips to be reduced for people in most industries. With the increase in digital technologie, we no longer have to be physically in the same room to accomplish many things. Expect corporations to be more flexible with remote work policies, especially if work is still getting accomplished at home while keeping people from getting sick and helping the company with operations costs.
Concerts and sporting events
Do not expect crowded sporting events and packed concerts to become part of our new normal. It is going to be hard to convince people to go back to large indoor entertainment and recreational gatherings. What you will see is clusters of people at smaller gatherings. The new normal will be for people to avoid large gatherings in enclosed space. Outdoor social and entertainment smaller gatherings will be preferred and part of the norm.
Expect significant psychological, societal and cultural impacts
People are profoundly affected by the major events that occur in their lifetime. Accordingly, t is to be expected that modern-day society will be shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The psychological after-effects of disasters typically emerge six months after the event ends. Long-term mental health effects and societal changes as a result of the pandemic, which has kept millions of people isolated socially and physically for months, are to be expected. There are going to be many long-term effects. We will see a significant increase in depressions, suicide rates and marital problems.
Expect certain levels of discord throughout communities
While the vast majority of people are counting down the days before we find a vaccine, dark days are to be expected. There is a tremendous likelihood of conflict, social discord and unanticipated consequences with the arrival of the vaccine. The distribution of the vaccine will be chaotic and problematic. There will be inequities and many will refuse to be vaccinated. Communities, co-workers, friends and families will be faced with tough decisions regarding everything from the topic of how to safely socialize after months and months of isolation to sending their child to school where there may be unvaccinated students.
Finally, do not expect the virus to go away completely
The COVID-19 coronavirus will not disappear when the vaccine is deployed. Many are opposed to vaccines. We are already seeing people saying they will refuse for themselves, their children and the members of their family, to be vaccine thus, severely limiting the ability to create any form of herd immunity, which would provide protection for those who cannot get the vaccine or have not yet been vaccinated. The virus will still be circulating even after an effective vaccine is widely available as a result of those who choose not to get the vaccine.
Mark my words:
We are in it for at least the next two years!
Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.
Systemic Strategic Planning, Crisis & Reputation Management
A division of King Global Earth and Environmental sciences Corporation
Michel Ouellette / Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.