Post COVID-19 World: Predicting the Unpredictable

Author(s): Dr Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (India/Qatar)

The world was cruising at its own pace in the ebb and flow of life until the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hit us as wreaking havoc. From social distancing, working from home and panic buying, life took a sudden turn for the worse. As the new standard takes hold, mental health has become a national concern, as more people are forced to remain isolated from loved ones and support systems. From being just a piece of news, COVID-19 has penetrated every life, affected every household, and affected every country in one way or another. A virus that is becoming so viral worldwide has made us all introspect about our lives, habits, and newer concepts.

As a researcher and a normal human being, I predict the following five significant changes that could emerge as a post-COVID-19 upshot:

1. Brand spanking new habits Awareness for personal and public hygiene measures will see a strong surge. Regular soap handwashing that most of us used to overlook either being lazy or not taking this critical thing will now become a routine. Prolonged periods of social distancing steps will be in place. Facemasks will become an integral part of our daily attire. The shopping that used to be fun and full of pleasure will now turn into a liability. The thrilling birthday celebrations, watching movies in theatres, family gatherings, sports, going to the gym, parties, travel, wedding, and graduation festivities will not be how they were. These new-formed habits could linger way after lockdowns are lifted, leading to overall transformation in daily routine.

2. Surveillance measures No one wants the privacy to be monitored or encroached, but what if it is for the better? Some countries needed to return to that to facilitate contact tracing. This could result in certain, totalitarian governments erasing a layer of privacy from the lives of citizens. It brings a whole new dimension to problems relating to privacy and ethics. But such interventions could become the standard, under the pretext of another major public health crisis.

3. The immunity passport Such a passport should work in a manner similar to how the passports and visas work. You will get a pass to resume your daily routine if you are confirmed to be immune to the virus, and if not, you will have to remain indoors. This sounds like a break between the haves and the have-nots and is the subject of ongoing discussions.

4. Mental Health There will be a substantial amount of fear, anxiety, and concern among the general population and in particular among certain groups, such as older adults, caretakers, and people with underlying health conditions. But as new measures and impacts are introduced – notably quarantine and its effects on the usual activities, routines or livelihoods of many people –rates of loneliness, depression, excessive alcohol and drug use, and self – harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to increase. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues, will deteriorate our mental as well as our physical health.

5. Remote Learning The COVID-19 crisis resulted in schools and universities shut globally, leaving educational institutions in the middle of an unexpected emergency. Many schools struggled to cope up with a notable rise in e-learning on digital platforms. For families around the world, it’s a snapshot of how the pandemic overthrows everyday life structures even after outbreaks subside: from four-time daily temperature controls to social distancing rules that make socializing impossible, the new school realities of children fall far short of normal. Despite certain doubts about remote learning being unconducive to student’s growth, it is incumbent upon us to embrace it and explore its full potential.

At the end of the coronavirus tunnel, light is on, and hopes are high The COVID-19 saga is unquestionably coming to an end. We are going to get back into our lives and enjoy the great outdoors. But that life will be drastically different. Moreover, reaching that point will depend on our current actions. We must endorse social distancing measures and reduce disease transmission. Only then can we enter the world of post-pandemics.

Covid-19 blog
Public health