Without question, 2020 has been one of the craziest years we’ve seen in a while. Back in March, within the span of a few weeks people around the world were forced to rapidly and completely switch their way of life. Our species has survived on this earth for so long much in part to our ability to adapt quickly to change. Just think about it, if someone told you one year ago that it would be a social normality for everyone to walk around with masks on, you would have said they were crazy. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even watch tv nowadays without questioning the actors’ lack of social distancing. This leaves the question, when we officially exit the pandemic stage, whenever that may be, how will our world look? What will be different or the same and what will we take with us into the future? These are some of the ways we believe life will be different after COVID.
Listen, we’re not saying everyone will go full-on Howie Mandell. With that said, bye are the days where you could sneeze in a public place without everyone turning back to you in annoyance. More than anything, people will be far more cautious when doing any day to day activities like taking public transportation, opening doors, using public bathrooms etc. We knew the germs and other bacteria were there from science class, but until COVID hit the majority of people didn’t even take it into consideration. This may not last forever, but we can be reasonably assured that this increased awareness towards germs will follow us at least into the near future.
Students and teachers everywhere felt the direct impact of COVID-19 when schools were suddenly forced to alter the way they operate. From remote learning to virtual graduations, they all had to adjust within a matter of weeks to a way of educating that hadn’t previously been widely practice. While it is unfortunate that many students, particularly seniors in high school and college, saw their years cut short, there are also positives to take away from this. The pandemic brought the feasibility of online learning to light. Yes, the first week weeks were chaotic and no one knew what to expect. But in the end, we made it out ok. As academic institutions continue to take advantage of modern technology, we can acknowledge the good aspects of remote learning such as not having to wake up as early to make it to class, or the fact that virtual platforms will make education more accessible, and ultimately less expensive. It is possible that down the road, schools will decide to stick with online platforms because in many situations is simply makes more sense.
Social media was predominantly used for entertainment purposes prior to 2020. Now, we are seeing more and more people from every walk of life take advantage of the enormous reach that TiK Tok and Instagram have. It gives us a glimpse of how other people live (or how they appear to) and what life is like all over the world. Also, because these sites have received so much traffic, we are seeing more advertisements and news stories pop up on our feed than ever before, helping us all be more aware of everything going on in the world right now. Furthermore, the market for online mingling services has skyrocketed since the pandemic began. It has been incredibly difficult for everyone, but specifically the older crowd, to meet new people and socialize while social distancing. No one wants to risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones, but at the same time, socializing is an innate part of who we are as humans. This has created opportunities for sites such as QBuddy, a startup founded by two Cornell University students back in April, or lunchclub.ai to emerge. While it is certainly not ideal, loneliness is something that we all experience from time to time. In the future, social media will continue to be a resource where people can access important information and also make genuine and lasting relationships despite the distance.