We are in the middle of difficult times. For many of us, it is the most difficult thing we will face in our lifetime. No one knows when this will end, how it will end, or what the future looks like once it’s all over. Many states, including Alabama, have begun to reopen, but it will likely be a while before things returned to “normal”.
Yet, despite all of this, there is hope. There is truly a silver lining in every cloud, and in the COVID-19 pandemic, people have grown in new ways. While we all hope that this situation ends quickly, there are some things we’d like to take with us as we find out what post-COVID 19 life looks like.
Many families are spending meaningful time together for the first time in years. Think about what the average American family’s schedule looked like before COVID 19. Working parents and school-age students were separated for 8-10 hours per day, followed by a rush to finish extracurriculars, shove down dinner, clean up, and get to bed in order to do it all again the next day.
Now, eight hours of school per day have been replaced with four or five hours of distance learning, and there are no extracurriculars to rush to. Families are taking walks together, enjoying dinner together, playing games, and learning how to spend time together without the rush of daily life. When life resumes as normal, we hope these new connections will continue to get stronger.
Improved Work Efficiency
Working from home is a flexible option for many people, and not just during a pandemic. Parents, those who live far from their main office, and those in areas prone to bad winter weather can all benefit from flexible working options. Now that many companies have essentially been forced to develop remote work options, perhaps this creativity can benefit employees in the future. This could change how business is done in the future, bringing more people into the workforce.
Diverse Educational Options
Education has changed in many of the same ways that businesses have changed. Educators note that online K-12 learning has been forced into the spotlight, giving children new ways to harness their energy and creativity. This has led to the rise of tools like Outschool, which allows kids to take ongoing or one-time courses on everything from grammar and math skills to the use of Japanese mythology in Animal Crossing. Kids are building connections with people from across the globe and exploring new mindsets that had never been available to them.
This change could benefit current and future students. Not all children learn well in a classroom setting, and the rise of online learning options could help students who have learning difficulties, who are subject to bullying at school, and those who are unable to attend school for medical reasons. Robust online learning options can help these students get the same rich educational experience as in-person students.
Never has the scientific community been quite as focused as it is at this exact moment. COVID-19 has impacted the entire world, and scientists are in a race to come up with treatments, vaccines, and rapid tests that will benefit society and allow us to return to normal as soon as possible. Now that we see the unharnessed power of scientists, we look forward to seeing how this collaboration will change the future of health care.
New Ways to Connect
As a result of COVID-19, extended families have been forced to go long stretches of time without seeing each other, friends can’t get together for happy hour, and in-person dating is all but gone. But instead of giving up on socializing, people have found new ways to connect. From simultaneous Netflix experiences to Zoom happy hours and Skype dates, people are discovering that there is more to being connected than simply being in the same physical space.
Everyone looks forward to restaurant dates, family gatherings, and birthday parties resuming, but we hope that these other means of connection will still be used. After all, if we can connect with friends from around the corner with Zoom, why not use it all the time to bond with friends from across the country or across the world? Life as we know it has changed completely, and it is important to look at the positive changes while grieving our losses. This pandemic has the potential to make life more accessible, enjoyable, and productive for everyone in society—including those who were shut out before. As we prepare for life after COVID-19, let’s take the lessons from this time and use them to improve life for everyone. The team at Mann & Potter remains optimistic about the future, and as always, we are here to help