What Will Be The New Normal?

As we experience the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all eager to be done with it. But when that happens — whenever that happens — what will normal life be like?

It can be difficult (some would say impossible) to predict the future. However, what are your guesses for what life will be like once the current restrictions are lifted?

There are many potential impacts, from the personal to the global. For example, here are some questions:

Once large gatherings are allowed again, will a significant number of people be hesitant to join in? That is, enough to see a decline in ticket sales to sporting events, rock concerts, and the like?

Will shaking hands or hugging be replaced with some sort of non-contact greeting?

The health care industry is being pushed to, and sometimes past, acceptable limits. Will they experience any lasting changes or effects?

What will this mean for preparedness for future epidemics or pandemics? What about other natural crises, like climate change? We have certainly seen that it is possible to make sweeping changes when the proper motivation exists.

Are our relationships, between family, friends, neighbors, and all the way up to countries, helped or harmed?

Will there be more political will for raising the minimum wage on “essential” workers? Teachers seem to have a newfound appreciation, but will that translate to better pay? Will policies like paid sick leave and universal child care see more traction? Will work from home become more common and accepted, resulting in less traffic on roads and shorter commute times?

Alternately, will things immediately (or eventually) go back to how they were before, with no real lasting changes to our society or way of life?

What will be the new normal?

Related questions: What is your five year prediction? Ten? COVID-19?