It may not seem like it right now, but this pandemic will end one day. What happens next, though, is something none of us have ever imagined.
The idea of a life after lockdown is quite alien right now. We are in Week 8 of the lockdown (Or is it 9? Or 10 perhaps? Safe to say we’ve all lost count) and it’s evident that there will easily be eight more weeks of a life not unlike this. Then there is the matter of what life will be after the lockdown has been lifted. A lot of our conversations with our friends has focussed on what we’d likely do post-lockdown but even as we make plans to go drinking and hitting the road it’s safe to admit that at the back of our minds, a tiny voice is telling us that it’s not going to be business as usual ever again. So what will life look like after the lockdown? We happen to have some ideas:
1. End of lockdown doesn’t mean end of pandemic
Our leaders may not have much of a choice but to open up select businesses and lift the lockdown partially. They will have to do this so as to save the economy that’s already gone into a tailspin. But this won’t mean that the pandemic is over. The disease will continue to hang in the air and more precautions will need to be taken by people who are stepping out. And stepping out will certainly not entail going out with friends for a drink or watching a movie, it will likely be restricted to shopping for essentials and maybe taking a walk or going for an early morning or late-night run. Till such a time that a vaccine is invented, the disease will have no cure.
2. Invention of the vaccine also doesn’t mean the disease will disappear
The World Health Organisation recently reminded people that it took 184 years for small pox to be completely eradicated after the vaccine was invented. Invention of the vaccine will be great news (and, certainly, whoever does manage to invent it will likely receive a Nobel Prize and a free meal at every restaurant on the face of this planet) but that will just be the beginning. The fight for which country receives the vaccine first will inevitably begin.
3. But it won’t be all doom and gloom
If there’s one thing even the sceptics can agree – and sure it may seem like a distant future right now – is that there will be a vaccine for certain. There has never been a time when the entire human race has come together to fight a common foe. The best minds on the planet are already working on a cure and while they may not find one for a few weeks or indeed months, it’s safe to say that a cure will be found and the human race will indeed triumph.
4. It will, hopefully, make us humbler
Even when we do succeed (and sure as the sun shining before you, we will) there is a good possibility that, as a race, we may begin to see ourselves for who we are – fallible creatures who were brought down by a microorganism. Hopefully that humility will help us live a more conscious lifestyle.
5. We will spend a lot of money…
In the short term. After being under lockdown, many of us have not only managed to save some money, we’ve also become very restless. It won’t be unusual for us to go out and splurge on ourselves – this could be a new phone or a car or even a vanity purchase. Impulse purchases are predicted to go through the roof, according to experts, but…
6. We will also think hard about our finances
While that bag or a phone or a car will make us feel good for a short time, we are bound to ask ourselves if we are prepared for another pandemic. This will mean more people will try to save more, buy more insurance and invest for the long term, experts believe.
7. We will be working from home
Most Indian companies have traditionally looked down upon WFH but if there’s one thing that this pandemic has proven, it is that most work that can be done from the office can also be done from home. This will not only reduce overheads for businesses, it will also usher in a new era in the way we work. Top IT companies are already making moves to shift operations out of large and expensive campuses to a virtual network that spans the entire country or indeed the world.
8. We will be more conscious about our hygiene
What we touch, how we consume it, have we washed our hands – all these will become central to our post-pandemic life. We won’t look at people washing their hands for full 20 seconds and snigger because we’ve realised just how much it has actually helped us stay safe.
9. We probably won’t travel anytime soon
Psychologists agree that the disease has struck a fear that is so deep that we will find ourselves wondering whether we should take that long-overdue vacation anytime soon. After all the virus could’ve been anywhere – on a plane, in a train or even that cab you hailed to pick you up from the airport. It may be a difficult decision to convey to the kids but it’s safe to say our travel plans for the foreseeable future may be off.