What will the term "normal" be like after the pandemic?
The one-year anniversary of the Quebec Covid-19 lockdown is fast approaching, and with the vaccine rollouts beginning, it seems as though there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. To say that the past year has been a crazy one would be an understatement. From telling our friends that we will see them in two weeks at the start of the lockdown, to being in shock when we found out that the quarantine period would extend, here we are one year later, still trying to process everything.
The question many of us still ask, however, is what life will be like once the pandemic is finally over? Covid-19 has had many effects on the economy, with lots of local businesses being forced to close as they were deemed non-essential, but has it affected our mindset as well? This pandemic has shown us how easily a virus can spread, therefore things that we used to do before the quarantine such as gather with a large group of people without wearing a mask or touching a doorknob without putting hand sanitizer on seems like an alternate reality.
Stores have had to completely change the way they run as well. With mandatory masks, limited capacity, and bottles of hand sanitizer at every corner, we have now become accustomed to these rules, and a transition back to normal might feel a bit disconcerting to those who have gotten used to the new measures.
A Uniprix manager, who wishes to remain anonymous, doesn’t believe that customers should worry. “I don’t see anyone really keeping these measures once the pandemic is over. I do, however, believe that some things are going to change. For example, fewer people have been paying by cash. Instead, they are opting to pay by card as it is safer. I think this trend will extend past the pandemic, as people have gotten so used to it.”
Eventually, measures will ease until they disappear completely, but this pandemic has made many of us more paranoid than ever before, so who knows when the restrictions will be over in our heads.