CONTROL ONLY WHAT YOU CAN
Life after the pandemic, What will (and won’t) change after Covid-19, lockdowns and restrictions. Will we ever be the same?
What will our future look like?
Will our social habits be changed forever?
Euronews says drastic changes to our routines have forced us to alter our social habits and re-evaluate our relationships – the effects of which could continue into our lives after lockdown.
“Massive levels of stress and anxiety are a big factor,” clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy told Euronews. “It will impact different populations in different ways, but individual stresses have been ramping up.”
He noted that each nation would be looking at its own protections for mental health amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but stressed that psychological first aid would be necessary.
He said: “This would be a one-off immediate approach, and would be around for the general public to use if they are distressed.”
At the start of the crisis, “we had the preparation phase with a lot of anxiety,” Dr Murphy said, adding that we had since passed through a “heroic phase, where everyone pulls together”.
“We’re now in the disillusioned phase, where there’s going to be a lot of exhaustion and disillusion.”
The effects of lockdowns across Europe aren’t always negative. For many, they will have also proven to be a good opportunity to re-evaluate personal relationships.
For cohabiting couples, social psychologist and relationship scientist Veronica Lamarche said partners could use the lockdown to work to “re-prioritise what they want to be getting out of these relationships.”
Think of lockdown as a clean slate. Things that weren’t working well before, we can focus on and re-invest
She then noted that some couples would be feeling a strain due to unusual circumstances “bringing to light issues” when spending a lot of time together.
She also says strange actions from politicians on the television or watching people breach social distancing guidelines can also be a factor to draw people together.
An extended lack of physical face-to-face communication could prompt people to realise just “how valuable” social interactions can be, according to behavioural psychologist Benjamin Voyer.
He told Euronews: “Humans are very social by nature. The things we find to replace these [interactions] do have merit, but people are discovering how tiring virtual communication can be.
Voyer said lockdowns could also lead to a shift in values of Europe’s traditional cultural mindset – from one where “everyone is expected to take care of themselves” to another where “the default is to take care of others because you expect others to take care of you.
It’s not immediately clear what could happen socially – but that it would likely involve trying to recreate what life was like pre-lockdown while also accepting the effect of COVID-19 will remain a part of our lives.
He said: “The first thing that is expected is for people to try and recreate something that looks like a ‘normal’ life.
For Dr Murphy, minimising stress and limiting negative mental effects pare down to a list of a few seemingly manageable things.
“Sleep, rest, good nutrition, staying away from continual news feeds, and wash your hands,” he said, adding: “And control only what you can control.”
DEATH THEY NEER SIGNED UP FOR
Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.
Politico says the scale of the coronavirus crisis calls to mind 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis—events that reshaped society in lasting ways, from how we travel and buy homes, to the level of security and surveillance we’re accustomed to, and even to the language we use.
Politico Magazine surveyed more than 30 smart, macro thinkers this week, and they have some news for you: Buckle in. This could be bigger
The global virus that keeps us contained in our homes is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other.
A new kind of patriotism.
Mark Lawrence Schrad ( associate professor of political science)believes they’ll be a new kind of patriotism.
America has long equated patriotism with the armed forces. But you can’t shoot a virus. Those on the frontlines against coronavirus … are saddled with unfathomable tasks, compounded by an increased risk of contamination and death they never signed up for.
When all is said and done, perhaps we will recognize their sacrifice as true patriotism, saluting our doctors and nurses … We will give them guaranteed health benefits and corporate discounts, and build statues and have holidays for this new class of people who sacrifice their health and their lives for ours.
The personal becomes dangerous.
Deborah Tannen ( professor of linguistics at Georgetown) says the personal becomes dangerous.
The comfort of being in the presence of others might be replaced by a greater comfort with absence… Instead of asking, “Is there a reason to do this online?” we’ll be asking, “Is there any good reason to do this in person?”—and might need to be reminded and convinced that there is.
We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. How quickly that awareness recedes will be different for different people, but it can never vanish completely for anyone who lived through this year.
It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces—and we might all find we can’t stop washing our hands.
TRAVEL WILL BE FOR THE RICH
Coronavirus: Will our day-to-day ever be the same?
BBC says Covid-19 will likely have permanent effects on the way we work. But the way we live, socialise and move about the world will be different, too.
Tony Wheeler: Co-Founder, Lonely Planet: Will only the wealthy be able to travel?
I’m afraid that post-pandemic travel will be to a very different new world. Will we be welcomed? Will we be safe? And can we afford it? It will be a sad new world if travel becomes something only for the rich and gap-year travel becomes a rite of passage that ceases to exist.
Of course, a travel reassessment will give us the opportunity to tackle some of the industry’s inevitable drawbacks from a fresh perspective, but will we tackle over-tourism and climate change, or just turn the power back on and hit restart?
Audrey Azoulay: Director-General, Unesco: How will AI shape our lives post-Covid?
Thousands of AI innovations have sprung up in response to the challenges of life under lockdown. Governments are mobilising machine-learning in many ways, from contact-tracing apps to telemedicine and remote learning.
However, as the digital transformation accelerates exponentially, it is highlighting the challenges of AI. Ethical dilemmas are already a reality – including privacy risks and discriminatory bias.
It is up to us to decide what we want AI to look like: there is a legislative vacuum that needs to be filled now. Principles such as proportionality, inclusivity, human oversight and transparency can create a framework allowing us to anticipate these issues.
Ezekiel Emanuel: Member, Biden-Harris Covid-19 Advisory Board: What will we be craving in a post-pandemic world?
There will be three clear legacies from the pandemic and all derive from the unnatural and unpleasant circumstances imposed by the pandemic nad the public health responses.
Emanuel says the first thing we will all want is security. The pandemic has caused us to feel the uncertainty and insecurity that comes with something so disruptive.
This means security in having an income, child care, family leave and other things necessary to care for your family during a pandemic.
Second, will be socialising.
Human are social animals. The isolation imposed by Covid-19 is debilitating. We want to have opportunities to be with other people, share meals, share a drink in the pub, and share activities.
Third, Emanuel says, travel will explode after the pandemic
People like (safe) novelty and changes of scenery. We have all been locked down with the monotony of the same rooms, same walking routine, inability to see new things. When it is safe to travel, people will go, go, go.
RENEWED POLITICAL FOCUS
Science & Politics: will our world ever be the same?
The Guardian says Britain has had an uncomfortable year in its battle to contain Covid. Failures to test, trace and isolate infected individuals allowed grim numbers of deaths to accumulate while deficiencies in the acquisition of stocks of PPE left countless health workers exposed to danger and illness. However, these have been balanced by the manner and striking speed with which our scientists have turned away from existing projects in order to focus their attention on ridding us of Covid. Their work has earned global praise for its swiftness and precision.
“The Brits are on course to save the world,” wrote leading US economist Tyler Cowen in Bloomberg Opinion about our scientists efforts last summer while the journal Science quoted leading international researchers who have heaped praise on British anti-Covid work. Science in the UK is perceived, correctly, to have done well in facing up to the pandemic.
A perfect example is provided by the UK’s Recovery trial, a drug-testing programme involving more than 3,000 doctors and nurses who worked with more than 12,000 Covid patients in hundreds of hospitals across the nation. Set up within a few days of the pandemic reaching the UK, and carried out in intensive care units crammed with seriously ill people, Recovery revealed that one cheap inflammation treatment could save the lives of seriously ill Covid patients while two much-touted therapies were shown to be useless at tackling the disease.
No other country has come close to matching these achievements. “We had the people with the right skills and a willingness to drop everything else and contribute to the effort,” says one of Recovery’s founders, Martin Landray of Oxford University. “That made all the difference.” In a nation which had only recently reviled, openly, the concept of expertise, scientists like Landray have restored the reputation of the wise and the informed.
Fiona Fox, director of the Science Media Centre, also points to the willingness of our scientists to communicate. “Time after time, we have asked for comments from leading researchers, epidemiologists and vaccine experts on breaking Covid stories, and despite being inundated with work, they have taken the time to provide clear analyses that have helped to make sense of rapidly changing developments,” she says. “It has been extraordinary.”
And of course, the arrival of vaccines against a disease that was unknown less than a year ago has only further enhanced the image of the scientist.
What about politics?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The pandemic also seems to be changing what people look for in a leader. The last recession pushed angry, despairing voters towards populists with easy answers; make America great again, take back control. But Covid has been a brutal reminder that in life-and-death situations, competence is everything. Joe Biden isn’t wildly exciting but at least he doesn’t speculate aloud about the merits of drinking bleach. From Jacinda Ardern to Angela Merkel and Nicola Sturgeon, the leaders whose reputations have been enhanced by this crisis tend to be pragmatists and consensus-seekers, not excitable culture warriors. Keir Starmer’s rising poll ratings suggest a hunger for steady-as-she-goes leadership in Britain too.
Optimists will hope that this collective near-death experience brings a renewed political focus on what actually makes life worth living, from supportive communities to the beauty of a natural world that sustained many through the lockdown. Pessimists, however, will worry that calls to “build back better”, or reset society along fairer and greener lines, could be an early casualty of a hard recession that leaves people-focussed purely on economic survival.
For it would be naive not to expect a backlash against all of this. Nigel Farage is already trying to whip one up via his new anti-lockdown party, targeting voters angry at having freedoms curtailed. But if the last crash unleashed an era of radicalism and revolt, it’s not impossible this one will leave people craving a quiet life. After such turmoil, don’t underestimate the longing to get back to normal, even if the normal we once knew is gone.
Go Deeper into the story
Holiday bookings surge in UK after lockdown exit plans revealed – The Guardian
ONS: Just 17% of adults believe life will return to ‘normal’ after Covid – fnlondon
Jobs first as ministers plan for life after Covid-19 – The Times
Many Americans Plan To Continue Practicing COVID-19 Precautions Post-Pandemic – Verywellhealth
On the Post-Pandemic Horizon, Could That Be … a Boom? – The New York Times
COVID-19: Life won’t return to normal for at least two years, expert warns, saying pandemic ‘isn’t over until it’s over globally’ – Sky News
Life after Covid-19: What will change?
Right now we can’t say for sure, but there is likely to be major changes in many aspects of life. From how we interact, how we live, how we travel – social to political and everything else.
According to Bill Gates, there will be 7 major changes after Covid-19.
When will the COVID-19 pandemic end?
The World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe said Sunday he believes the coronavirus outbreak will end in early 2022. Hans Kluge told Danish state broadcaster DR that COVID-19 will still be prevalent in 2021, but it will be more manageable than in 2020.