We’re just a few weeks into the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, and already the world around us has begun to look very different. With governments shutting down borders and confining persons to their homes in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, Nigeria is one of around 100 countries seeing an unprecedented level and speed of transformation in the way we live our lives. This begs a very important question: what will the world look like post-COVID-19?
With social distancing in full effect, technology has swooped in to fill the physical gap. From classes to dates to wedding ceremonies, persons are using apps like Skype, Discord, and Zoom to communicate in ways that would have seemed strange prior to the pandemic but are suddenly a part of our new normal. The last time we were in a similar situation (the Spanish Flu in 1918), it lasted two years, and current projections say we’re looking at up to 18 months. That’s a lot of time for persons to get used to working remotely in the comfort of their own home.
But that’s just one aspect of society that the virus could affect. What about how we greet people? Until a vaccine has been found and distributed, even once quarantine lifts, will persons be as willing to shake hands and hug? Cash has already been phased out of many businesses in places like New York City – will more people opt to swipe their cards so that money doesn’t change hands? In the uncertainty of the world economy post-COVID-19, will persons turn further towards cryptocurrency as a way to secure their funds?
For years, the population in Asian countries like China has worn masks while out and about, and this was seen as a cultural difference that developed due to the air quality and other social considerations.
Perhaps a few years from now, it will have become typical in many other societies across the world.