The covid-19 pandemic affected every part of our life. We stopped shaking hands in meetings and hugging even close friends. Many people started working from home, and a few lost their livelihoods. We recognized the importance of frontline staff, including healthcare professionals, delivery drivers, cleaners, etc.
A few people found more time to spend with their close ones, whereas many felt isolated with travel restrictions. With no commute requirements, traffic in several cities vanished, and people cut down on fuel expenditure. At the same time, lifestyle diseases like obesity continued to rise.
Now the fear and anxiety have subsided with the mass vaccination drives. But with social distancing norms and masks on, it will take more time for returning to normality. Below we discuss how the pandemic has changed our lifestyle.
WFH: The new normal
When hospitals were full and tracking infections became difficult, governments had little choice left. They ordered to shut down public places, transports, and offices. Thus began the large-scale work from the home experiment in history. Right from big tech giants to startups, every company explored the ways to work remotely. Initially, people found it interesting, as one didn’t have to get up early, prepare for the day, and commute. People got to spend more time on cleaning, cooking, and childcare. But spending hours on zoom is not similar to meeting people in real. Also, the work hours got extended, and at times, there was no difference between personal and professional time. In the future, companies will prefer a hybrid model combining remote and in-office work.
Increasing stress and mental health issues
New variants, surge in infections, renewed lockdowns, and the News coverages filled with deaths and miseries have taken a toll on our mental wellbeing. We live in uncertain times, waiting for the pandemic to end. With schools, creches, gyms, parks, and other public places shut, many people felt like living in a cocoon. Children had to adapt to online learning and adjust to the new routine. Working parents had to manage both work and children simultaneously. The work-life balance got disrupted.
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A shift to a healthy lifestyle
During the peak of the covid infection spread, not all could get timely healthcare services. It prompted people to pay close attention to their health. People were keen on knowing the symptoms of the illness. As in-hospital care was not feasible for every infected person, governments gave instructions for home care. Staying fit and boosting immunity became a priority for people.
At the same time, schools, offices, and gyms were shut. The covid pandemic made our lives more sedentary. When the cases were peaking, the authorities prohibited people from daily walks too. Online sessions and mobile apps were of great help during the lockdown. People formed online groups and fostered new friendships.
Before covid-19, many people in developed and developing countries were living a consumerist life. Youths, especially, were living paycheck to paycheck. The 90s and 80s habit of saving had disappeared.
But job uncertainties and sudden healthcare expenses during the pandemic made people look into their financial positions. Health cover for self and family took precedence over housing and other loans. Moreover, travel bans and work from home meant less spending on transport, clothing, and food. As partying started online, people began cooking delicacies at home. Youtube channels and Instagram blogs inspired many to try out new dishes.
Even before the pandemic, the world was moving towards digitalization. With restrictions due to covid-19, the pace accelerated. People started interacting with friends and closed ones through digital mediums like messenger apps and social channels. Education and work switched to online mode. Cloud-based infrastructure and high-speed internet made remote work easy and convenient. It proved economical too and might become the norm after the pandemic. Now, consumers are more likely to communicate with companies using social media and web portals. With digital technologies, it is more straightforward to access required products, services, and relevant information. Along with online interactions, digital payments too are on the rise. Covid precautionary measures further reinforced contactless payments.
The covid-19 disease posed a global level challenge. Healthcare services took an abrupt hit in many countries. The travel bans further created problems like the unavailability of medical equipment. Both the government authorities and the general public understood the importance of health and healthcare infrastructure.
Instructions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance taught us that every one of us is responsible for the well-being of others. The pandemic showed us the interdependent nature of our lives and the countries’ economies. People quickly adapted to changes in routine, work mode, etc. And, there is the common desire to be resilient and face future infections and calamities with courage. Governments are working to bolster healthcare infrastructure and logistic amenities.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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