What to Expect When We Re-Enter the World and Interact With Each Other – by Francis Barnes

When we think about the world reopening, it brings up images from one of those Zombie apocalypse movies where the world is decimated, and everyone is fearful.

But is that really what we can expect when businesses reopen after stay-at-home orders are lifted?

Certainly, the reality of our lives will be a bit brighter than any Zombie apocalypse. And thankfully so.

But still, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re not going to re-enter the same world we left.

Here are a few things that will change.

Masks will be a staple

Within the first few months at least, we can expect that it’ll be more common to see people with masks than without them. It’ll take some adjustment, for sure, but it will soon become so commonplace that it’ll be weird to actually see someone’s smile.

And because we’ll be wearing so many masks, they’ll become a fashion accessory. Don’t be surprised if you see diamond-studded masks hitting the scene, especially among celebrities.

Attitudes will vary greatly

Although most people will be cautious when we return to the world and start interacting with each other, some will throw caution to the wind and return to business as usual. This is a risky move that could lead to another lockdown, so we can only hope that enough people will be cautious, so we don’t have to repeat this quarantine.

Alcoholism will take hold

We all know that people are drinking more during this pandemic. It’s even possible that you’re among those engaging in excessive alcohol use in these trying times. But when the restrictions lift, it’s unlikely that we’re going to snap back to having a healthy relationship with alcohol just like that.

It’s going to take an effort, and for some, it may even require counseling for alcoholism. So, an unfortunate side effect of this pandemic is that many more people will become addicted to or have a negative relationship with alcohol, and that may have an impact on interpersonal relationships.

We won’t hug as freely

So many people are used to giving hugs, kisses or handshakes when they meet up with people, but this bodily contact is likely going to become a relic of a bygone era. As we reenter the world, we’re less likely to physically touch each other, and we’ll be especially wary of contact with strangers. Maybe something new like the elbow bump will replace the handshake, but we can definitely expect reduced contact when this is all over.

Curbside will be the norm

Even when the world reopens, we can expect curbside and delivery services to remain popular. There will still be people who are trying to limit their contact, and this means they’ll avoid in-person shopping. The good news is that stores have become very good at offering curbside service, and it’s super convenient.

We’ll spend more time outdoors

We have less to worry about when we’re outdoors because it’s easier to maintain social distancing. So when the world reopens, we’ll see more people spending time outside. This means more outdoor activities which benefit mental health, but it also means more patio dining, drive-in movies and farmer’s markets.

If it wasn’t so already, spending time outdoors will become the preferred way of spending free time. And with that said, more people will have dogs after this pandemic too. We’ve already seen how shelters are emptying out as people adopt and foster during the pandemic. And having a dog to walk will give anyone a good excuse to spend more time outdoors.

When we reenter the world, things will probably feel a bit scary at first.

But it won’t take long before these subtle shifts become part of everyday life.


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