According to the stats shared by Google, “coronavirus” was the second most searched keyword on the popular search engine in 2020 after “election results” while top ‘how-to’ searches included “hand sanitizer and face mask”. Life, as we know it has changed The New Normal during the Pandemic.
Clearly, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced people worldwide to reconsider their health and hygiene. A whopping rise in the sale of toilet paper, sanitizers, and masks makes it even more evident.
Households, as well as businesses, have become more serious in terms of cleanliness, disinfection, and sanitization of their premises—and looking for ways to ensure they are maintaining a healthy and safe environment at all times.
So, what’s the new norm? Though the COVID-19 outbreak has changed our lives as we know it in several ways, taking effective steps to prevent the spread of harmful germs and viruses has become the top-most priority. Lately but surely, people have started to adjust to the new normal during the pandemic.
Some of the things that have become common—and are expected to remain that way post-COVID-19 are:
- Use of Face Masks – People wearing masks became a common sight in 2020 with the entry of coronavirus. While the mandatory requirement to wear a mask or cover the face is subject to change at any time, chances are it could remain in place for weeks or months to come.
- Rigorous and More Frequent Cleaning – The number of cleaning services, especially deep cleaning services being taken by businesses in a month/quarter is on a rise. A lot of businesses are also considering electrostatic cleaning (spraying mist of disinfectants) solutions to keep their facilities germ-free.
- Use of PPE Equipment and Sanitization of High-Touch Surfaces – Cleaners wearing PPE equipment when cleaning a facility, and better sanitization of high-touch surfaces, such as computer systems, chairs, staircase railings, coffee dispensers, water coolers, vending machines, etc. have become a common practice.
- Restocking/Overstocking of Cleaning Supplies –Restocking/overstocking of hand soaps, paper towels, and other cleaning supplies in restrooms is evident. People are also keeping sanitizers with them to keep their hands disinfected at all times.
- Social Distancing – As we didn’t have a vaccine to fight coronavirus, prevention became a more suitable option than cure. Group activities were banned and social distancing was applied across the globe to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Although in the coming days, the application might not be as aggressive as it was earlier, social distancing will continue to remain at least in the near future.
- Travel Restrictions – COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the travel industry. Though international travel is slowly starting to get back to its feet, nations are still imposing restrictions on cross-boundary movement and asking travelers to follow the safety guidelines. The fear is still there and airlines/trains are expected to run with less number of passengers even in the upcoming years.
- Work from Home – When coronavirus hit the world, giving work from home to employees was more of a necessity than an option for businesses. However, companies are now seeing work from home as a real opportunity to cut down costs while also ensuring that all the tasks are carried out smoothly. In the coming future, we might see more and more companies opting for the work from home culture.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the novel coronavirus is its ability to mutate, increasing the risk of SARS-CoV-2. No matter how proactive we become and how religiously we follow the COVID-19 cleaning guidelines for offices and homes, the fact that the virus will keep circulating at some level cannot be overlooked. This means that some precautions will continue to stay in place for a few years, for example, annual vaccine shots.
Until we get access to a safe, effective vaccine to beat coronavirus, there will certainly be a risk of infection, even as people get back to work, shopping, and perform their routine tasks. Even if you are a company and your location is “open for business”, make sure you take proper precautions so that your employees, visitors, and customers don’t catch or spread COVID-19. For your protection and that of others, continue to follow guidelines provided by the state and maintain workplace safety in the pandemic.