To fight the spread of COVID-19, there have been a number of precautions implemented across countries, businesses and even just on an individual level. Some feel like a hack, some are just new ways of doing what was done before, but many have been wondering – what does life look like after the lockdowns have lifted? South Africa’s alert level approach shows that normality will be phased in, but just how ‘normal’ will life be at level one – or zero, if it even goes that low? Or, could there be a lasting impact that changes how we do things for good?
We miss hugs. Being apart from loved ones during lockdown is certainly one of the hardest aspects and, even if we were able to freely leave the house and visit them, social distancing rules would frown at getting close enough to embrace them for the time being.
But, as tough as it may be, imagine a time when people weren’t as quick to get into another person’s “bubble” because they weren’t feeling fully healthy. Imagine opting not to shake someone’s hand because it’s been a while since you washed your hands. In truth, COVID-19 has exposed some bad habits that have likely played a part in transmitting other sicknesses and infections. Granted, the flu is way less severe than COVID-19, but imagine what next year’s flu season would be like if we were conscious of who we come into contact. It wouldn’t be completely necessary, but we may see a new age of greetings that are a bit less touchy. Non-huggers, celebrate!
Not just in Asia
Asian culture often feels so starkly different to Western culture, and its long-standing practice of wearing a face mask is a good example of that. In that small space of time between the world becoming conscious of COVID-19 and countries locking down, Asian countries continued as they were, however you would have struggled to find anyone who wasn’t wearing a mask. So, while Western countries are only now adopting masks as a preventative measure for the spread of COVID-19, we may not see the end of them once things settle down. It’ll be a bit of a shock for us to see each other in public wearing masks for the first time, but it will eventually just become the norm. On top of this, mask fashion makes this protective gear as personal and customisable as any other piece of clothing, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see masks staying with us into the future.
In a hurried attempt to survive nation-wide lockdown, many companies implemented infrastructure to allow their employees to continue working from home. Some were lucky enough to already have the infrastructure and policies to make the transition seamlessly, others were not quite as fortunate. Regardless, this is undoubtedly a new era for remote working as everyone from small businesses up to global organisations have grown accustomed to virtual meetings, flexible working times and collaboration across distance. Working remotely has always been a thing, but could we see it moving from necessity during lockdown to the norm once we have more freedom?
We touched on this in the first point (see what we did there?), but COVID-19 has underlined the necessity of good hygiene habits and, more importantly, where the majority of people are lacking them. Anyone else had flashbacks to their childhood while seeing handwashing tutorials at the start of the pandemic? For something like a virus to be beaten and stay beaten, it’s important that these hygiene habits continue indefinitely, that we maintain a high level of cleanliness as if our lives depended on it, because they ultimately do. Perhaps it’ll be a new strain of COVID-19, perhaps something completely different, but the impact of the next sickness to sweep across the world may be drastically lessened or avoided altogether by being mindful of our hygiene and doing the most we can to ensure the safety of those around us. This is the most likely of all the points we’ve explored in this blog post to continue into the indefinite future for exactly that reason.
At City Lodge Hotel Group, we have already decided on what measures we need to implement in order to ensure the safety of our beloved guests and our staff once our hotels are able to reopen. Our hotels were already tip-top, loving and clean, but these further measures were put in place in light of COVID-19 and our commitment to providing a safe place to stay. Procedures like undergoing screening questions and a thermal reading, frequent deep-cleaning and exploring pre-packed meal options are just a few of the things we’ve put in place to ensure that our hotels remain a safe place to stay long after COVID-19 is a threat. You can read more about the protocols that we will be following once our hotels are open again on our website.
We’re all looking forward to getting out the house, seeing the sights we miss seeing and maybe even eventually the people, but an argument could be made that COVID-19 has taught us some positive lessons as well.