The possible world after lockdowns

The world never does go 100% back to the way things were after a huge crisis ends. Some remnants of the tough times linger and become part of the new normal.

As COVID-19 spreads, governments of the world have done everything they possibly can to slow it down while scientists study the virus and work on a vaccine for it. America is no exception since measures such as closing schools, nonessential businesses and international borders have been enacted.

And that’s not even half of the actions being taken during lockdown.

America has never reacted so extremely to a pandemic. However, since America currently has the highest amount of COVID-19 fatalities, there is good reason for such reactions and safety measures. Dates are given for when restrictions will end, but those tend to be rescheduled depending on new COVID-19 developments. Although it’s impossible to know when restrictions, lockdowns and quarantines will finally end, I do have some theories on what life will be like once it happens.

Eduardo Rangel | The Poly Post

People will be required to wear masks when they are sick.

This is the one I hope will stick with us once the pandemic ends. It really does help to wear these when you’re sick. It may not keep you from contracting an illness, but it’ll keep you from infecting anyone else. It’s a safety measure that’s encouraged in Japan and more regions in East Asia. I say it’s about time it became protocol for America and everywhere else. Please let me be right about this one.

Social distancing will still be encouraged.

Although stores may stop requiring people to line up outside the entrance and be let in in groups, there will still be encouragement to keep a fair distance away from other shoppers. Currently, the distance is set at six feet, but I think it’ll be lowered to either three or four feet after the pandemic is done. That puts enough distance between people to mitigate germ spread yet keeps them close enough together to prevent a line from getting too long.

Certain nonessential businesses will cease to exist.

This applies only to local stores that don’t belong to a chain. I enjoy a great many of those places, so it makes me sad to say they could be gone by the time stay-at-home orders are lifted. 

It depends on how financially stable the owners are (with or without the CARES act). If they were struggling, then I’m afraid the pre-lockdown times are the last we’ll ever see of them.

Public establishments will have stricter occupancy limits placed on them.

One of the biggest reasons COVID-19 infected as many people as it did is because of high occupancy and crowded events. Many such events had to be canceled to avoid repeating this mistake. Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con were two such events and when they return, they’ll likely be required to severely limit the maximum attendance per day. If this one comes true, these events’ management companies would be wise to extend the amount of days they’re going to be held, or have them occur more than once a year. That way, anyone who wants to go will not miss out.

Schools should reopen in August.

The current term is on track to finish on the originally scheduled date despite switching to online classes. 

This eliminates any need for the next term to start during summer vacation’s usual time, as Gov. Gavin Newsom has suggested for K-12 public schools. Plus, starting in July is much too soon to pack students into a closed space just for education.

None of these should be taken as gospel, but we should nonetheless expect a new normal once lockdowns are lifted. 

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