How Will Society Change After COVID?


The COVID-19 second wave has arrived; however, this time it is immensely different than before since doctors, scientists, and the public are much more educated about the virus. Also, the newly-released vaccines give hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Doctors and scientists informed the public that there would be another sizable outbreak of what feels like a never ending virus; sure enough, they were correct.
“The biggest risk, scientists say, is a loosening of social distancing measures. A much larger portion of the economy today is engaged in consumer-driven commerce…This heightens the economic pressure to relax social distancing standards… doing so could worsen the pandemic,” Louis Jacobson said in his PolitiFact article.
Obviously, everyone is ready for the world to return back to normal, but no one really knows what that new “normal” will look like. Certain things society used to do before this virus took over everyone’s lives are things many may not do anymore; for example, bowling, drinking from water fountains, standing close to one another while waiting in a line, actually going into work, etc..
“We are going to have a new normal. We are going to be more flexible for working from home. There will be more virtual meetings or hybrid meetings,” pathologist Dr. Zahra Maleki said.
It appears many have the same opinion as Dr. Maleki. When people began to wear masks in public, everyone felt so strange and almost awkward because it was something no one was accustomed to; however, now when someone isn’t wearing a mask, everyone looks at them differently because they can’t believe they aren’t wearing one.
“I think it will take years to be normal again because vaccinations will be limited by people’s personal views on it. I don’t think we will get enough “buy in”, so I think we will have lingering problems for years to come. Some countries will have limited and insufficient resources,” cardiologist Dr. Glen Meininger said.
Dr. Meininger makes a valid point about people not wanting to get vaccinated and other countries not having enough resources or the money to produce the vaccinations. With many believing anything and everything that is posted on the media, it creates this immense obstacle for society which then slows the process of eliminating the virus all together.
Anyone who isn’t working in a doctors office, clinics, or hospitals most likely has a different routine for killing those germs they acquired while they were out. Some may wash their hands right away, or others might change clothing and wash their hands. Medical professionals have an even more scrutinous procedure.
“I have been to clinics and occasionally the doctor’s office, so what I immediately do when I get home is take off the clothes I was wearing and shower. Starting next Monday, I will be in the doctor’s office everyday, so I will continue with changing and showering right away,” Gina Legaluppi, a physician assistant student at James Madison University (JMU), said.
During the first months of COVID, doctors and nurses were much more apprehensive and fearful about bringing the virus home and spreading it to their families; however, those nerves have been slightly relieved as many first responders have received the COVID vaccine.
“At first I changed out of my clothes in the garage and showered immediately. Now, I wash my hands as soon as I come in but don’t rush as much to change. I’m happy to say that I received the second vaccine yesterday, so hopefully that will help. [However,] I do worry that I will bring it home to my family,” Dr. Meininger said.
Considering the pandemic has been going on for a while now, doctors and scientists are much more knowledgeable about the virus, which is beneficial for the public knowledge as well. Hospitals are much more efficiently prepared for patients and now know how to better accommodate them.
“[Hospitals] are more ready and also patients are more informed about symptoms, which help them to seek medical care earlier,” Dr. Maleki said.
The last year has been extremely tough for the nation, but with the vaccine being produced and available to the public soon, things are starting to look up for society. All good things come with time, but soon enough everyone will be together again and living the lives as society once was.