This weekend marks one year anniversary of “New Normal” forced by a global pandemic. Due to a pandemic, Government world over announced lockdowns and restrictions. This has resulted in tremendous economic destruction with trillions of dollars worth wealth being wiped out. Since March of 2020; our lives were tuned upside down. 

Here are few examples of how our lives have changed since March 2020 (below list has been inspired from common HR tactic lists before and after picture just before employee surveys) –

  • From going to office everyday; most people are working remotely. Pre-pandemic people used to need approval to work remotely. Now people need approval to go to office!
  • From having haircut once every 3 weeks to a haircut once every 3 months, I am looking lot different.
  • Same goes for shaving. I used to shave everyday before going to office, now it’s once every few weeks.
  • I had never imagined masks would become such an integral part of my life. Prior to start of pandemic our house had a bag which of socks. Post pandemic, bag of socks has a companion in form of bag of masks.
  • In pre-pandemic days, we used to have a bag which was filled with other bags. Post pandemic we have a box full of smaller boxes that are used by likes of Amazon to ship things.
  • For grown ups, remote working is not a new concept. However for kids online classes was totally new. In my house, wife and I work remotely and kiddo has online classes. (All of this was possible due to high speed Internet access. During last year one thought that has repeatedly crossed my mind is “how would world have would have coped if something like this had happened 5 years ago”)…
  • Prior to pandemic things were much simpler. For example if I wanted a candy, I used to go to nearby store, buy it and then eat. In post pandemic world, before entering store I need to sanitise hands and get temperature checked. Then after buying candy, it must be sanitised first before eating.

During last year we learnt new words that looked silly before. Here are some of the words that have dominated our vocabulary –

  • “New Normal” is going to be stay in our mind for a long time.
  • Usage of “Unprecedented” has reached unprecedented level.
  • Never thought we would have a concept of “work pyjamas”!
  • Stay at home vacation “staycation”
  • Who would have thought “virtual team lunch” or “virtual coffee connect” would become so popular!

While most experts are busy quantifying economic or healthcare impact of this crisis, one thing that has slowly started to emerge has this pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our mental health. For many this is a sensitive issue. But it needs to be tackled. Exact damage last year did especially to kids is yet to be determined. It would be a while till we would get results for this. The longer these restrictions get dragged on (due to second and third wave) people are going to get more isolated. I fear we may have reached a point for certain things that we may find it difficult to adopt to old ways of doing things (like going to actual office or taking a crowded train). 

In this new normal while working from home, I stay in your PJs and flip flop rather than office clothes and shoes. Once we enter next phase of “new normal” where we (after getting vaccines) are asked to return to office, things like ironing clothes and polishing shoes would be back in demand. For people like me who forget things easily, that is likely to be a challenge. So don’t rule out YouTube channels that teach life skills like ironing clothes and polishing shoes becoming popular!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *