Several states have been working on plans to re-open their economies after the Coronavirus pandemic has threatened to decimate it, including Pennsylvania. This is not only exciting, but also slightly terrifying as fears of a second wave of the pandemic could occur. The incremental re-opening of the economy in Pennsylvania and other states around the country has gotten me thinking: what will the world look like after the Coronavirus Pandemic? What will be the “new normal”? By no means am I an expert in viruses or just about anything. This is just merely an observation.
One of the biggest things that have been introduced most recently into our everyday life has been the utilization of masks in business and (sometimes) outdoors. Unfortunately, I think that this mandate will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Some businesses, such as WalMart and Giant Food Stores, have also been working to limit the number of patrons that they allow in the store. This is another unfortunate “new normal” that we will have to be dealing with and could also be a government mandate. I could even see some of these stores starting to have its customers book appointment times to shop. Although most essential businesses (specifically in Pennsylvania) seem to be larger, whether they be regional or national chains (for example, Wawa, Giant, WalMart, BJ’s Wholesale, etc.), I’m hoping to see businesses open and doing “business as usual”. However, hope and logic seem to be mutually exclusive in this situation. Unfortunately, I think that a large handful of businesses will be turning their temporary closures into permanent ones, even with the stimulus package they obtained from the government. This upsets me that domineering businesses in multiple industries will gain more power and disallow the opportunity for competition.
I also think that large gatherings, such as sporting events, conventions, etc., will not take place until next year. We have seen the cancellation of the Olympics this year as a result of the pandemic and the postponement of professional sports for the time being. It’s obvious that hockey and basketball will not return this season. However, there’s a possibility that baseball could return, but with no fans and an abridged season. I have a feeling that football will take place this year, but there also may not be any fans or a minimal number of fans in the stands in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. On a personal note, I would hope that events like Greater Philadelphia Comic Con and Keystone Comic Con will take place, but I’m not so sure, which is upsetting. There are hundreds or thousands of people that attend those events and it may be too risky to have that many people in an area at one time, especially if the virus has not been eradicated.
Government control seems inevitable as a result of this pandemic. Things like temperature checks and immunity cards have been discussed throughout this pandemic as precautions to take once things seem to level off (at least so far). I previously mentioned the fact that I wouldn’t be surprised if stores may be limiting their customer capacity, which could potentially become a government mandate. I’ve been living with the PATRIOT ACT for all my adult life and I understand the argument that it’s the government’s job to keep us safe. However, I can’t say that I’m not bothered by the fact that this seems like it’s interfering with right to privacy.
I do foresee some positivity coming out of this despite my cynicism and “doom and gloom” outlook (I’ve lost my faith in humanity more than several times throughout this pandemic). I think people will develop a newfound appreciation for a number of things in their lives, including their jobs (those that have lost their jobs and those that have remained employed), health care workers, retail workers in essential businesses, truck drivers, and the ability to go out and hang out with friends, just to name a few. I’m cautiously optimistic about the testing for this virus, but I’m hoping that private businesses will be able to manufacture these tests so that the states are not as reliant on the government to obtain them. I’m hopeful that people will remain charitable even after the pandemic is over; as I said before, people are not going to recover immediately and will need the help from food banks and other sources.
I have seen reports that there is a possibility of a second wave of this virus in the winter along with the flu epidemic. I hope that this is not the case, but if it is, will we be stuck doing this again? One thing that I have realized throughout this pandemic and quarantine is that people really need to practice common sense. If you are sick, stay home. Wash your hands when you go out to a public place. I wouldn’t rush out to a place of business that has a large crowd as I feel like that would be playing Russian Roulette with your health.
Social distancing has been effective at mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus. Hopefully, common sense will be the cure, at least for the time being.