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The new normal - a short essay

The health crisis which we are facing now will settle gradually, however it will leave a profound impact on our way of life and the way society functions. The world over people are getting used to social distancing, work from home, new safety standards for restaurants, malls and parks, new operating standards for factories etc. Human beings are essentially social beings and we love intermixing with our social circles on a regular basis. So this behavioural change that we are having to adopt is tough, yet the most necessary one, given the current situation.

‘Innovation’ and ‘online’ are some of the buzzwords which will start taking shape in the coming times. Many people, who were hitherto not availing e-commerce services are switching to e-commerce options.

Whenever, society faces a knee-jerk obstacle it is forced to invent new technologies and chart out a new path for survival. We may also witness improvement in the health infrastructure in India, as we realise the importance of a robust healthcare system. Public hygiene is also set to improve, and we can use this opportunity to exile the menace of public spitting from our country for good.

Also, people’s commute patterns will change. More and more meetings may start taking place on the zoom or other such platforms. This along with the work from home culture may eventually lead to ‘driving less’ and ‘flying less’ which will be eco friendly and will help us reduce our carbon footprint.

On the health front, telemedicine has become more popular, with older people preferring to consult doctors through video conferencing. This has reduced the long queues and overcrowding at the hospitals too.

Social gatherings like parties, going out for movies etc will reduce. People will prefer small get-togethers within the family, rather than going out to the crowded clubs or pubs. Tourism is another sector which may witness some sea changes. An interesting option may be virtual reality tourism, where the Swiss Alps will be virtually brought to the doorstep of a person, without him or her having to travel all the way to Switzerland. Concerts and other forms of entertainment may have to shift to other modes like online concerts.

All of us may have been thrown into this new set up suddenly, but we need to quickly understand and adapt. We need to solve the ‘now’, but at the same time explore the ‘next’ and imagine the ‘beyond’. The post pandemic world will surely be different, but the world has seen several such disruptions and changes and society as a whole has only emerged better and wiser.

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