Is the Coronavirus going to change the way we live?
The Covid-19 virus that is supposedly keeping us locked up at home – maybe for a few months yet – is already changing our relationships in the community and even with one another. Experts say that some of these changes, ones we have already experienced and others to come, can be of concern to some: Are the borders of countries going to remain closed? Is shaking hands going to be prohibited? What is going to happen to the job market, schools and other education institutions, shops, restaurants and businesses?
This virus has stopped everyone in their tracks and has also brought to a halt, or at least slowed down, the world economy. Our country is still practically on lock down. We have already had reports of people who are struggling financially. Many people are out of work. Life, for some, will never be the same. The Government had announced financial measures to help out workers and businesses. But there are other workers who have been ignored and who are not receiving the support they need. This period of crisis, however, is also opening up opportunities. Technology is coming out on top. For some, working over the internet – using webinars, iSkype and teleworking – has become the order of the day. The broadband is being strengthened and companies such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix have lowered the quality of their streaming to lower the load of the broadband in European countries.
While communication tools are giving us more leeway to allow us to work, they are also giving rise to social distance. Children and grandchildren are communicating with their parents and grandparents using the telephone, social media and Iskype. Human contact is being minimised so that people avoid getting sick by staying away from one another. We hope that once we are rid of this virus, we do not forget about our relatives!
We all know, thanks to all the messages and warnings that we are receiving, that we need to take care of our personal hygiene by washing our hands and disinfecting the things we touch and that we need to keep our distance others. Like it or not, this way of life can last a while and we need to adapt to these temporary changes. One hopes, however, that once this is over, these things do not become the norm. We hope that we do not fall into the trap of obsessions.
I think that our society will emerge from this pandemic more appreciative of open spaces, not only to celebrate public events, but as an opportunity to be together without having to stay six feet apart.