Wasn’t it just yesterday when some of us were making fun of people wearing masks and creating hysteria for the still undeclared pandemic? Well, not anymore. Today, the world as we know it is changing forever as the death tolls reach yet another ‘000 mark. The crisis is real and remains to be unaverted and the only solution in these testing times remains to be countrywide lockdowns and self quarantining. The only certainty in these testing times is the knowledge that our lives as we know it will never be the same again. The question remains, will this forthcoming change be for better or worse?
As all the countries announce a lockdown and self-isolation becomes the need of the hour, it isn’t unfair to say that a period of uncertainty and anxiousness awaits us all. We are all locked up in the safe space of our homes. The schools and office meetings have now turned into zoom calls and skype. The face masks we use are no longer a part of another skincare regime and a person sneezing or coughing in public has become the newest nightmare we are living through.
“This too shall pass.” Or “We are all in this together.” It is all the rage on social media right now and I agree. But the question that is tied around my neck like the tie -which my father no longer has to wear cause he doesn’t have to go to the office anymore (work from home)- is what happens post quarantine, when possibly the only numbers we focus on will be the ones related to the stock market. What will happen when all of us can be back and roam free in the wilderness without worrying about stocking up that fridge because all we can do is eat out? We will think twice, if not thrice before cancelling those last-minute plans and maybe just maybe we will be glad to get back to that daily grind we hated so much. As we take this time by staying in and assessing that lifestyle, it is a probable probability that a change is certain.
1. The People Around Us
It took a global pandemic (and a few dozen memes) for us to realize that people around us matter more than we give them credit for. First off, they might be contagious (no offence) and finally, they are supporting each other through a global crisis (by staying six feet apart, though). The people who were so fast-paced that they couldn’t even stop if they were held by anchors have now taken the time apart to stand out in their balconies and clap as a gesture of gratefulness towards the healthcare workers or perhaps even sing together to raise that feeling of oneness and solidarity. It's more than safe to say that all of us have become more considerate and grounded as a person. The social media is flooded with messages of togetherness and wellness and well workout videos but I feel comfort by watching all these videos of people who are blithely unaware of my existence. Some of us are living with our families, some are living with their significant others and some are alone but all of us are living through a pandemic. We now know the importance of the doctors and nurses and the grocery store workers more than ever. So, once the dark cloud of the coronavirus ceases to exist, the people around us will not be the same again.
2. The 'Staying at Home'
This pandemic has made sure to change the meaning of the phrase ‘staying at home’. Pre- the times of coronavirus- staying at home was a luxury which not all of us could afford. Staying at home meant taking that Sunday break and sleeping in, maybe having the whole weekend at home and doing nothing or ditching our friends at last minute on that Friday night. Now, it is essential. It is the only solution to slow down the spread, if not completely remove the virus. I must have seen about more than a hundred videos that urge people to stay at home and it's ironic how even the most cynical of us believe that these tough times will pass. After the pandemic ends, for better or for worse, it will have changed the meaning of staying in. maybe we will all gush out together and for once fulfil those Friday night plans before thinking twice.
3. The New Normal
It's rather strange to think what the times ahead will have in store. Its stranger still that maybe it will be the same as it is right now. The days and hours and minutes have jumbled up together and all days are Sundays. We are on a standstill and while some of us wait for the time ahead. It isn’t hard to imagine that maybe the times ahead will not be more different than it is now. Maybe, we will have to wear face masks every time we go out or we will use a quick drop of sanitizer just before shaking hands and we will continue to stand six feet apart. many reports suggest that this will be the new normal. So, maybe the pandemic was successful in bringing about a new normal. A ‘normal’ which we struggle to adjust to. However, we all struggle together. This time apart from the world has made us all realize how unappreciative we’ve all been about the time we spent together as a society. This time apart has made me realize that maybe the new normal won’t be normal after all. This time apart has made me realize how special and important is ‘the human touch’ in our daily social life.
The silver lining amidst all this chaos remains to be the change in nature. According to the various memes I’ve scrolled my way through, this pandemic has been the nature’s way of slowing down as well. As we all shut ourselves in our houses, the factories stop their productions and travelling has become the most voracious of sins, the nature heals itself. The air quality index has improved. The ozone has finally started to heal itself. The pollution is negligible and one can finally see the wildlife in Venetian canals or anywhere for that matter. Speaking of wildlife, they have finally found solace in the silence. We can hear birds all day long. The stray dogs are happy to see a human. The lizards in our houses have become our newest lockdown buddies and we finally know what animals in a zoo feel like. So, once this pandemic ends, it would have changed the nature’s nature.
5. Our Priorities
It's funny how fire or yet still, a pandemic exposes our priorities and the things that had mattered the most in your life a while ago are never going to be the same again. It’s a strange time as the global recession takes over the planet. Our priorities are not the same anymore, right now all we can hope for is the safety and well being of our families and friends and making the best out of the resources at hand. The job position that had mattered so much or the vacation plans that were all the rave are no longer important. The most irrelevant of things have become the most relevant. As we realize our true priorities, it is safe to say that the society post-pandemic would be well analysed and our priorities will never be the same again.
6. Digital Media as We Know it
For the past few months, the world apart has come together as one and we are all closer than ever, the catalyst is the digital media. Instagram, Youtube and Twitter have all become the commute in these times when we need to stay at home. Video calls are our new best friends and zoom calls are all the rage right now. The scrutiny about social media was an important discussion in the times before corona, but right now, social media is a blessing. It is the chain of support that links us all together and provides us with much-needed comfort. All around the world we hold each other through messages in forms of baking a cake or posting that workout video and of course by face timing our friends. The world of Instagram and Twitter will no longer be a place for recreation, the social media might just have transitioned to the social playground that we all need. It is quite certain that once the pandemic is over, the digital media would be better in all its aspects.
7. Our Economy and Jobs
The economic recessions have become a part of this pandemic and the businesses along with our jobs will never be the same again. The media industry has emerged out to be one of the most important of jobs as it continues to connect us with the outside world. All of the major businesses are considering this as an opportunity to reconsider their policies and revamp their workings. It’s a time when all of us are becoming more aware of the repercussions of development in this modern world. Sustainability and impact on climate are the main points to focus on. The fashion industry is reconsidering major changes as they contemplate the number of fashion weeks to incorporate in a year. Introduction of digital fashion week in London and face time photoshoots come in this time. The pandemic, once it is over will be successful in bringing changes in our jobs as we know them.
8. Our World
Finally, the world as we know it will never be the same again. This time was successful in making us realize the importance of health and the impermanence of politics and religion. Our countries have shed aside the politics, the religions are no longer at war and the world has come together without any prejudice against one another's cultures and traditions. We no longer fear a war or a stoop in our economies as the world comes together in the times of Corona. All that will be same post quarantine will be the love and togetherness that we show each other by coming out and clapping or singing in our balconies in the times of Corona.