Since it first emerged in China in early 2020, the coronavirus has affected every area of our lives. From hand hygiene to distancing, isolation to national lockdowns, the virus has turned the world on its head and brought about across-the-board societal changes never before seen at any point in history.
The incoming next wave
Now, as we near the first anniversary of the virus and hopes had finally started to raise that it might be abating slightly, most experts are warning of a resurgence of COVID-19 – the so-called second wave. Moreover, while some analysts predict the virus may slowly begin to burn itself out in the coming two years, others suggest the world may never be free of coronavirus and it may become just another disease we need to learn to live with.
To protect against the virus, many scientists are hopeful that we may see the mass development and release of a vaccine in early 2021. However, equally, there is a growing tide of opinion warning that even if a serum is found, there is every chance COVID-19 might mutate thereby rendering it useless. Either way, much as we all wish otherwise, it seems very likely coronavirus will be with us for some time yet.
The temporary changes that may become permanent
Many societal changes resulted from coronavirus over the last year as a general fear of infection from – and spreading of – the virus took hold in nations across the world. As country after country went into lockdown and populations were forced to stay indoors, our daily lives became almost unrecognizable.
From simple things like a trip to the shops or going for a drink to watching sport or live concerts, things we previously took for granted were suddenly stripped from us.
COVID-19 has brought about significant changes to our lives, however, many of these apparently ‘temporary’ measures may linger long beyond the virus itself.
The rise of a cashless society: As the virus is widely believed to able to live on surfaces, shops moved in their droves to cashless payments by card and cellphone, avoiding (where possible) cash transactions. Experts predict it’s very likely this shift in public perception of card payments will remain and we could soon see fully cashless societies.
The unstoppable growth of Internet shopping: The writing has been on the wall for many years for the traditional high street but COVID-19 may well have hammered the final nail into the coffin. As people were forced to stay home, more and more of us moved online for shopping for everything from everyday essentials to groceries and clothing.
Streaming media: With theatres and movie theaters closed and many of our favorite shows halting production through the virus, people developed a natural craving for box sets and streaming media.
Working from home: As nations closed down, businesses were forced to adapt to remote working with staff staying connected from home. This practice will likely remain long into the future considering the investment made by companies working with IT network companies like HLB System Solutions to improve their internal and external networks.
Hand hygiene: The habit of sterilizing our hands regularly has become second nature over the last few months and is likely to now be with us forever. Moreover, it’s quite likely traditional greetings like shaking hands could remain replaced with the new elbow tap gesture.
The changes and habits we have adopted over the last year could already be so ingrained that they become just a natural part of our lives. Certainly, one thing is for sure – the short-term effects of COVID-19 will endure longer than the virus.