At this point in time we have all gotten somewhat accustomed to this new normal. Anything that can be virtual is, and some (including myself) are even having holidays, such as Thanksgiving via Zoom. With the world adjusting so rapidly to a technology reliant system, one cannot help but wonder how this will impact society long term. Will we keep certain things online? Will physical contact such as handshaking and hugging become taboo?
Before the COVID-19, it was considered polite and proper to shake hands with those you’re introduced to. It was a sign of respect, but now it is almost a joke that we can’t shake hands. Many people have brought up the question that even after the vaccine will we go back to doing things such as this? I think that at some point it will be integrated back into society, but it will be one of the things that takes longer to regulate back in. For now bumping elbows will have to suffice in this area of physical greeting.
As for technology, it is hard to remember a time when we were not staring at our computers for most of our day. It’s wake up and then off to school; which means time to open all the devices in order to get work done. In one aspect, it’s good that we were already technologically inclined when it came to education so that when all of this happened we were able to stay in touch with our teachers, but many students (including myself) have found that online school is nowhere near regular school. Even those who chose the in-person option for school have only gotten to go in snippets due to shutdowns. This entire school year has felt surreal, and while it is good that we are still attempting to have an education in these unprecedented times — the learning has been cut down to the core with only a fraction of the normal curriculum being taught.
Not only is school online, but work and events have become virtual as well. Many extracurricular rehearsals have gone online in order to continue over this time. Work for many people has become from home as well. Those with small children have had to find ways to handle home and work being in the same place. While I do think that some types of work will stay online, for the most part I believe it will return to a normalcy.
Events and extracurriculars on the other hand are chomping at the bit to get back to an in-person status. Having a Zoom Bar Mitzvah for a relative was probably one of the most odd things I have been a part of. Extracurriculars such as instrumentalists, athletes, vocalists and simply hanging out with friends are simply not the same over a video conference. Being in person is a crucial part to many of these things in life, and after corona I believe that people will be jumping to get back that bit of normalcy.
These past months have taught us all a lot. From being confined to stay at home most of the time to dreading the “I have corona and was around you” call it has become a reality that many of us have grown accustomed to. I do not think it will become a permanent state of mind, but I do very much believe that some of the sociological traits crafted during these times will stay long after corona has gone from our lives.