The effects of a “quarantine state of mind” will linger long after the pandemic passes, experts say.
We’ve learned new rules and new skills that will last way beyond the coronavirus crisis. In some instances, we will still be fearful and traumatized in social situations. But in many ways, the lessons may change our world for the better.
Here are some ways experts say our lives will be transformed:
*A “quarantine state of mind” will reign for months. Normal activities like talking, singing and especially kissing will be viewed as a potential threat. “We are training people to see the world as a dangerous place. The invisible enemy could be anywhere,” says David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, according to Vox.
*Movie theaters could significantly decline, and virtual entertainment could take their place. According to Business Insider, experts say that people are already finding new ways to socialize through Netflix and other streaming services.
*We could see drone delivery services come online. Amy Webb, an adjunct assistant professor at New York University and what Business Insider calls a futurist, says that in the months to come, the Federal Aviation Administration may relax restrictions and allow drone-based deliveries for those who need medical supplies.
*Consumer behavior could shift the way we shop. As state and local governments implement measures to close nonessential businesses, more Americans are shopping online, a trend that experts say will continue. Although brick-and-mortar retail comprises 85% of U.S. retail sales, the coronavirus outbreak may lead to a shift to more online, pickup, and delivery options for shopping.
*Working from home may become the norm. According to the Financial Times, white collar workers may shift their activity from the city to their neighborhoods. After the pandemic, when childcare becomes available, working from home will be even easier. The results would be less traffic and pollution.
*Telemedicine could become an increasingly time-saving and welcome addition to our overburdened healthcare system, says Simon Kuper, writing for the Financial Times.
*We will be more aware of better hygiene. Precautions like handwashing, wearing masks and self-isolation for infectious people are skills, and we’ll have to ward off other illnesses and flus in the future.
*Checking on the elderly will become more common. Before the lockdown, many older people went days without speaking to anyone, according to the Financial Times. Now countless WhatsApp groups are reaching out to isolated neighbors.
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