March 2020 was a time of great uncertainty. The transition to a socially distant society was frightening and confusing for many. Now, a year later, we have a completely new normal as we begin to look ahead to the fantastical utopia that awaits us after the pandemic. As we desperately wait for a time where everything can go back to normal, there are some things that really shouldn’t revert back to the status quo.
Personal Space At The Grocery Store
As soon as grocery stores started putting markers in aisles and checkout lines to denote six feet of space, it really illustrated just how disrespectful we had been to the personal space of others. Why on Earth did we stand so close to each other, and why did we need a global pandemic to fix this?
If you’ve ever been waiting in line at the register and felt the warm coffee breath of a stranger on the back of your neck, you know what this feels like. Are we that hastily stupid that we think the line will somehow move more quickly if we actually crawl inside the asses of the customers in front of us?
At an early point in our childhoods, we are taught about respecting the personal space of others. So what is it about the timeliness of adulthood that made us forget about common decency? The stickers on the ground should never have been necessary in the first place, but they should never go away. Keep the general public at a safe distance from one another. Save us from ourselves, Walmart.
We Don’t Need Handshakes
The handshake allegedly originated in ancient times as a show of good faith in order to prove that the two parties involved weren’t carrying any weapons. So why do we need to move each other’s hands up and down synchronously in order to demonstrate some level of professional amiability? That’s ridiculous.
People’s hands are always dirty, even when they’re clean. We used to ostracize those among us who had the foresight to reject handshaking as a social convention because of how unsanitary it is. They were just ahead of the curve. When characters in film would spit in their hands first in order to create some sort of salivary seal, how did we ever accept such a disgusting practice? Why were we so laissez-faire about exchanging bodily fluids?
Beyond the obvious unsanitary nature of handshakes, they’re also just incredibly awkward. Everyone has a different handshaking form. Why is apparent grip strength in a handshake an acceptable measure of a person’s worth? Why were squeezing each other’s hands like an infant? Plus, once you get to the ever-expanding world of daps, miscommunications abound.
Shaking hands is an antiquated method of greeting that should never make a comeback after the pandemic is over. We just don’t need it. Just say hello, wave, raise eyebrows in recognition, bow, do some finger guns or anything, really. Just don’t touch.
After the pandemic has truly ended, it’ll be great to no longer need to strap a mask to your face every time you go out, but what if you still want to? If you went out in public a year ago wearing a mask with your dog’s face on it, you’d surely get tons of passing glances. People would think you have an unhealthy obsession with your pet and you might be here to rob this bank.
Now that wearing masks in public is totally normal, let’s not allow that to change. Masks can be such a great means of self-expression in addition to the added protection they offer. It’s not like wearing a mask in public really makes it any easier to rob a business now. Robberies have actually decreased significantly since the beginning of last year. Sure, homicides are way up, but that can’t be because of masks, can it?
On a less significant note, people look great in masks. A little bit of mystery is sexy, and everyone has beautiful eyes. When the eyes are the only part of the face anyone can see, those windows to the soul are also doors to attraction. So keep your masks handy and keep working on that smoldering eye look, because mask-wearing should be here to stay after the pandemic.
We all have one. It’s the maximum distance at which we are comfortable straying from our homes while wearing our jammies. The pandemic seriously calls into question why we put so much effort into our appearance just to run basic errands. Why do you need to squeeze into those jeans just to go get some milk? Just go in your jim-jams. Live your life.
Additionally, the prominence of zoom meetings often means that we only really exist as heads atop torsos. No one needs to see our bottom half in these scenarios, so why put on pants at all? This way you’re more comfortable and you have a secret. We need to normalize prioritizing comfort over style. It’s perfectly fine to get all dressed up at any time, but it’s also totally acceptable to bum around in a onesie at Target.
Wash Your Damn Hands
Remember when the pandemic first hit, and the mantra was simply to wash your hands and refrain from touching your face? What a time that was.
Far too often, people think it’s totally fine to not wash their hands after using a public bathroom. Men tend to wash their hands far less frequently than women. Why? Is it a toxic masculinity thing? Do men tend to see washing their hands as some sort of sign of weakness? That’s so stupid.
You know when you see someone leave a public restroom without washing, and you know that they know you saw them? Why don’t they care? You would hope that societal pressure alone would be enough to at least guilt them into putting on the façade of cleanliness. How could someone not wash their hands after using the bathroom? Don’t they feel some sort of Pavlovian imbalance in their hands?
The pandemic has put hand washing at the front of our minds more than ever before, and this needs to continue after the pandemic. We can’t go back to how things were. Think about how many times people, especially men, walked straight out of the bathroom and shook someone’s hand knowing full well that they didn’t wash. Barbarians.
Let’s face it, we were already trending in this direction before Covid hit. Now that staying inside is a public safety imperative, delivery has become even more essential to modern society. This is the one aspect that will almost surely not revert back to its previous state. The future is bright. We won’t have to leave our homes to do anything anymore. Amazon will have drones delivering our every need before we even know we need them. That’s beautiful.
The Zoom Life
Have tinfoil hat wearers conspired about Zoom yet? In March of last year, as the pandemic was just beginning to take hold, the price of Zoom shares was as low as $105 per share. Prices skyrocketed thanks to the pandemic, reaching as high as $588 a share in October. How do we know the virus wasn’t created by Zoom to force people onto their platform?
Obviously, that’s ridiculous, but the fact is that the pandemic made Zoom a household name. There are so many things that can be done over a video call that weren’t before. Meetings, podcasts, classes and many more no longer necessitate meeting in person. This goes hand in hand with the pajama radius. We’ve progressed to a point where most business can and should be done sans pants, and that’s beautiful too.
Respect For Essential Workers
The emergence of the term essential worker is sort of a paradox when you consider how it’s used. It suddenly became a buzzword to describe those employees that aren’t lucky enough to be able to work from home. It’s healthcare professionals, grocery store employees, etcetera.
With respect to grocery store employees specifically, they are simultaneously considered essential by society yet expendable by their employers. The federal minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour. That doesn’t seem like an essential wage.
This same energy needs to be sustained after the pandemic. Between this and the push for a $15 minimum wage, there is a much greater public understanding of just how important these people are to society than ever before. This can’t revert back to normal after the pandemic.