The Coronavirus Pandemic May Lead to Global Changes Permanently

Alisha Nazar, Staff Writer

People all around the world are experiencing something never seen before. No one imagined that there would be a scarcity of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. No one thought they would be wiping down their groceries with cleaning wipes like a mad man. This is the “new normal.” Now, the entire world is stuck in a quarantine, and their whole lives are turned upside down. Everyone is only thinking of the times after the Coronavirus is gone for good. People may think life will go back to normal after the pandemic, but unfortunately it may not. 

According to the New York Post, the phrase “will life ever go back to normal?” has skyrocketed in Google searches. This is the question on everyone’s mind, people eagerly await to return to normal life. 

Education as students and teachers know it, will most likely never be the same. There will be a huge need for a more personal learning style for students. The majority of students in the Orinda community are privileged enough to have their own electronics, wifi, and well-educated parents. However not every student has these same benefits, creating unbalanced levels of learning. According to an EdSurge article by Jeffrey Young on April 3, “The need for personalizing the learning experience is going to be so much greater after this because kids across America are getting such different experiences during these months of homeschool.” Schools may need to adjust to the different learning levels students are on and help them get caught up to the level they should be at. 

“A lot of people have said various things, such as smaller classroom sizes or alternating days of attending school. I think the later we return to school, the more ‘normal’ it will be. If we return in August, there still might be a lot of restrictions. If we return when it’s more safe, there may be less restrictions. I don’t think we will see the ‘same’ in a while, or at least until a vaccine is developed and widely distributed,” junior Saba Sheikholeslami said. 

Another tremendous change may be seen in businesses .Companies that are usually revenue- driven will become more lenient towards their employees. Employees could be treated with greater empathy and kindness because of their hard work during the pandemic. According to a Forbes article written by Josie Cox on April 14, “Performance will be measured in purpose as well as profit, because COVID-19 provided perspective.” Businesses may switch to working from home permanently because employees proved that profit is still possible with these working conditions. “That is a way of the future for many people who work for themselves or for companies.  It creates more productivity because people are less busy commuting to and from work, less stress and it also saves companies millions in office space and risk management.   It also helps people to get so much work done,” Miramonte parent, Michael Panah said. 

Lastly, social interaction will change. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “Don’t anybody shake hands again. It sounds crazy, but that’s how it’s got to be until we get to a point where we know the population is protected.” Shaking hands is something everyone does, and to potentially eliminate it would be outrageous. A number of events would have to change. Such as: concerts, sports, family gatherings, holidays etc. According to a USA Today article by Gary Dinges on May 1 about the changes to concerts, “Seats might be blocked off to allow for social distancing, temperature checks are a possibility, hand sanitizer stations will likely be plentiful and masks could even be required in some venues to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.” 

The world will have to redefine the way it used to live. Now that families are stuck at home together, there is increased family time. Family members, who before the outbreak were drowned in work, have more time to spend with their family. Or, college students who were away from home, return and are able to spend more time with their family, which may not have happened if it wasn’t for quarantine. How people socialize at school, work, or anywhere in public will have to adapt. In addition to the temporary halt on handshaking, Fauci also believes that everyone should continue obsessive hand washing. Even when shelter in place ends, caution still needs to be taken. 

In a more positive outlook, when people are able to socialize with friends and family, they will cherish it more. When the shelter in place restrictions finally lift and people are able to hug a family member or friend, they won’t take it for granted. Being in quarantine can cause everyone to feel disconnected and lonely because of the lack of human interaction. For months being face to face was replaced by video interactions and Zoom calls. “I will definitely be super thankful when I see my friends. When I am able to hang out with them or go out normally, I will stay in the moment and be super grateful that I can see them,” junior Tahra Panah said. 

This is a stressful and bizarre time. The future is  still extremely unclear right now, but this will all end eventually. Everyone is longing to return to “normal,” but the way the world used to function, may not be conducive for the long term health and safety of the population. With the “new normal” there are loads of negatives, but there are positives, such as more family time, which wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the virus.