It really looks like even with the Omicron variant looming on the horizon, the world has had enough of being in virtual stasis for the last two years, and believes it’s time to go back to normal — or at least, as close to normal as possible. With the economy opening up and face-to-face classes slowly making their way back, it seems like the pandemic will just have to be another thing we have to keep in mind while heading back to business as mostly usual.
But you know what? With this new normal as it were, I’d really, really like for some things to never have to come back. Things such as:
Traffic is getting bad as is, but once face-to-face classes are back and most offices have decided that WFH is no longer a thing, imagine just how much worse that situation will be. Can we skip that altogether? Maybe WFH just really, really works a lot better than we gave it credit for, and we should keep it for a bunch of industries moving forward.
Prior to this pandemic, I never even realized that I’m actually an introvert. But now that I’ve spent 2 hours away from most people in general, I actually feel inclined to keep it that way. Let’s all interact with each other when we want to and not because we feel compelled to, okay? It’s much healthier.
6. Reporting to an office
Work From Home has been such a boon to people like me. People who can be crazy productive and efficient without having to put up with office politics, water cooler talk, and dealing with coworkers who have sound systems on full blast because they think everybody wants to hear April Boy Regino for the millionth time.
5. Guards uselessly “checking” my bags at the mall
Is taking my temperature and registering for a generally unused contact tracing system that much better? Yes. I’d take that over useless and ineffective pokes at my bag with a magic stick. At the very least, if someone walks into a mall with an actual fever, those temperature checks would do something. The sticks? Not so much.
4. Giving up facemasks
Hopefully, facemasks will forever be an option from this point on, because in the last two years I’ve been wearing them, I’ve never had a single asthma attack or even a cold. If only for that, these masks are a game-changer, and I’d hate for the end of the pandemic to bring back people being forced to not wear them the same way they forced us to remove any headgear when entering a mall or a bank for security theater purposes.
3. A casual disregard for mental health
It seems like the pandemic has given us a much more holistic view of what it means to be healthy. Now, it’s not just hitting the gym and minding what you eat. Mental health has become an important focus in a time when people are both more apart and more together than at any point in their lives. Apart from those we don’t live with, and together with those in our home, practically 24/7. All that friction and conflict turned every household into its own version of Big Brother’s house, and if that meant people valued mental health more, then we’ll take that.
Here’s hoping that the new normal won’t mean we just slide back into letting mental health be a background thing we don’t give a damn about. Because for what it’s worth, we’ve made strides.
2. Having to actually deal with the losses we went through
There’s this strange little bubble most of us have been in during the pandemic, assuming we survived it. Call it survivor’s guilt, but we’ve been walking wounded for so long, suddenly going back to “normal” as it were would force us to reckon with the fact that the countless times we said “rest in peace” on Facebook really corresponded to a person in our lives, and we’re not going to see them anymore.
Sorry if #2 was such a downer, but that’s reality for us.
Curse you, pants! You are a pox and the bane of my existence. The pandemic has allowed me to ignore you for the most part, and I rue the day I would have to wear you again on a daily basis. Curse youuuuu!!!
What aren’t you looking forward to when things go back to normal? Tell us what you think in the comments.