New Normal…Thinking About the Future? You Should Be

Looking forward to things getting back to normal?  Nah, forget it.  Everything’s changed.  Remember the Serenity Prayer?  It says, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  If you are aware of what the changes are, you can prepare to accept them or manage them.  Now’s the time to get ready for our new normal.  Don’t wait until it clobbers you into submission.

The list of changes is long and varied. Not every alteration will affect everyone. However, rest assured you’ll feel the influence of them for a long time.

The New Normal…What to expect from 2020 onward:

Employment 

As we started the new year, people pretty much took it for granted that they’d have a job. In fact, unemployment was very low and lots of businesses were enjoying successful runs. What’s different now is that with the ‘shelter at home’ orders, both businesses and employees that were labeled non-essential were out of work. And, many will have nothing to return to.

Shopping will definitely change.

Online shopping is the way to go

Go to the supermarket, are you kidding? Who wants to go into a store and take a chance of encountering a nasty sneeze or cough. You could pick up some droplets! Quick, get outta there, and hit the hand sanitizer as soon as you get in the car. Because of this, it’s online shopping from here on out.

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Availability

Speaking of shopping, why is it so hard to find some of the most basic items? Could be: 1) Pandemic hoarding, 2) Chinese tariffs, 3) Manufacturing lapses, 4) Ineffectual purchasing. Who knows? I just feel like the new normal is don’t be in a hurry to make an online order because there are too many things listed as ‘out of stock’.

Prices

Then, of course, if you can find what you’re looking for, you’re not gonna believe the prices. Let me get this straight. Employers go out of business and unemployment shoots through the roof. No job = no income. Seniors on a fixed income now don’t have the purchasing power they had before. Savings are reduced by a fluctuating stock market. One thing’s for sure, that’s a big change we could do without.

The new normal in relationships and social distancing.

Hey, lets go to happy hour!

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Even if bars were open, how’s that gonna work with cloth masks and 6′ social distancing.

You pretty much have 3 choices. 1) Visit with your neighbors across the street – while across the street. You set up your cocktails and snacks, they set up theirs. Then you can chat from the comfort of your very own driveway. 2) Even safer is to have the ever-popular virtual happy hour. Meet with your friends online at the appointed hour. Don’t forget to get dressed up like you would if you were really going out. 3) Or, you can drink alone. With or without George Thorogood.

new normal includes social distancing

Dating is going to change

Believe it or not, dating websites are having a heyday. For this reason, a new protocol has developed.

Basically, it comes down to this: 1) Choose someone to get to know, 2) Have a telephone conversation, 3) With time, progress to online video chats, 4) Arrange to meet in person while using social distancing precautions.

All this slows things down quite a bit. But, if you think about it, it allows for a more leisurely development of the relationship. And, this pandemic won’t last forever. You may even come to prefer this more old-fashioned way of dating.

online dating is the new normal

Travel

Ever so slowly, we’re getting out of the house. A trip or vacation might be a fun reward after spending months at home. Airfares are increasing as social distancing is compelling airlines to not sell the center seat. That means fewer people on each flight and, as a result, an increase in prices.

So, you decide to stay closer to home and drive. Okay, where are you gonna stay? How safe do you feel in a hotel room? I thought so. With this in mind, you can look for an Airbnb rental. Also pricey, but somehow it feels a bit better. Yup, that’s your new normal.

Let’s just have a staycation at home. Check out this Dance Safari post, “8 Summertime Upgrades for Your Backyard Staycation“.

new normal includes changes in air travel

Education

At this point in time, many public school districts have yet to decide how to proceed for 2020-2021. My grandson Joe is almost 13 and will be going into 7th grade next school year. His expection is that the 6′ social distancing will be in effect with classrooms using every other row of desks. Masks will be required, and lunches will be taken in the classroom as opposed to the cafeteria.

Colleges and universities will require temperatures to be taken, dorm rooms to be set aside for sick students if they test positive for COVID-19, and sports programs will be limited or eliminated. In addition, students should expect online classes and a code of conduct to help prevent spreading the disease.

Healthcare

Our new normal will include an increase in the use of virtual healthcare. Also known as telehealth, telemedicine, and digital delivery, experts estimate that as much as 60% of our future medical visits will be online. To be sure, it’s a step in the right direction. When you think about it, does it make sense to go to the doctor’s office where you sit in a waiting room with other sick people?

Many health insurance plans already include virtual visits. Try one and see if its something that will work for you.

Another result of the social isolation that came with the pandemic is the loss of interacting with others. Social connections with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers will give you better physical health and emotional well-being. As a matter of fact, some doctors even say a longer life.

Health professionals understand that living a good life includes others and it’s important for better health. Therefore, you can expect more support in that area from them.

So there you have it, my opinion of what the new normal will look like.

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