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Allow the Pandemic To Transform These Aspects of the Way You Live

People have been affected differently by the pandemic. Some have been fortunate enough to escape its direct impacts. Others have lost lives, livelihoods, or loved ones.

What we all have in common is the experience of change.

Businesses are particularly vulnerable, though some have found this transition easier to handle. Forward-thinking laundry and dry cleaning services, for instance, had already been offering contactless delivery and pick-up options. Many restaurants and retail stores were slow to do the same.

One reason why businesses struggle to change is their complexity. With multiple elements involved, it’s hard to be agile.

As individuals, we face far less difficulty in making the right adjustments. If we’re suddenly told to wear face masks, observe social distancing, work from home or attend online classes, those are measures anyone can quickly adopt.

The pandemic has the potential to change our lives in some positive ways. But we have to be aware and strive to retain those changes. Otherwise, we’ll just as easily revert to our old behaviors.

Recognize human connections

Some experts argue that in many ways, the pandemic didn’t actually spark change so much as it has accelerated trends that were already in place.

Remote work was already an option at some companies, and many employees wanted that sort of flexibility. The pandemic rapidly gave such arrangements widespread acceptance out of necessity.

On a political level, we’d already seen tensions mounting between the US and China, for instance. Leaders around the world had been agitating for isolationism and protecting their nation’s economic self-interest. Covid-19 seems to amplify those pressures.

But on a human level, what we’ve all experienced during the pandemic tells the opposite story.

Full-time remote work for most employees has only emphasized our need for informal social interactions. Thought leaders on international policy call for collaboration, not tension.

We need to recognize that humanity’s interdependence is vital for co-existing and coping with difficult situations.

Staying connected with, and helping each other, is what will get us through these hard times. And we need to remember the importance of that human connection as we return to normal.

You are your intake

In the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, people were quick to draw comparisons to the Spanish flu of 1918. One key advantage we have today is in the realm of information.

Modern medicine has advanced greatly since then, in particular our understanding of epidemiology. And we have the internet, which enables instant-speed sharing of information around the world.

What many people failed to foresee, though, was how those information networks could also be used to spread misinformation easily.

This wasn’t just limited to Covid-19, of course, and fake news had already been a problem before. But once again, the pandemic exacerbated the existing trend as people’s lives shifted en masse to the virtual world.

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Governments and social media giants alike have failed to properly respond and rein in this sub-epidemic of misinformation. It has mostly fallen to each individual to determine the veracity and reliability of their sources.

As we make efforts to hone our fact-checking skills, let’s not forget that these are essential to our long-term survival.

You are what you eat when it comes to health. The same thing could be said of your intake of information.

Even when the pandemic is long gone, continue to practice critical thinking. You owe it to yourself and the rest of society to not be so easily swayed by those with an interest in spreading falsehoods.

You have agency

Changing may be easier for individuals than it is for organizations. But the adjustments demanded of us during the pandemic are still a test of our willpower and willingness to sacrifice.

It may have been hard for you not to have had face-to-face interactions with friends and family. Most of us have also missed the ability to travel or enjoy other leisure activities without worrying about our health and safety. Perhaps there have been instances when you’ve slipped or let your guard down.

Perfection isn’t the enemy of good. The real takeaway here is that circumstances have proven that we’re capable of changing so much in such a short time.

It matters how you frame these things. If you acknowledge that you have agency in this matter, your choice to do the right thing will have real-world consequences.

Personal agency and self-efficacy empower us and create a buffer against mental health issues. Again, when this pandemic is over, retaining those hard-won lessons will serve you well in future crises to come.

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