Potential ways the pandemic may change our behaviors


Photo / Victoria Gasca

A photo from earlier in the pandemic shows that mask wearing was and, in many cases, still is a requirement in many establishments. Some behaviors – including wearing masks – may stick with us for longer than the duration of the pandemic.

Adriana Adame, Writer

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, a new concept of normal has replaced the old one. This includes wearing masks, social distancing, and working from home. It is not clear if and when life will return to pre-COVID timesIn factthese new aspects of life have most likely altered our way of life for good.  

For one, schools across the nation have adopted virtual learning, pivoting from paper handouts to PDFs and PowerPoint presentations. Because this shift occurred quickly, many students had to learn to navigate technology like never before. Students are now more accustomed to technologyand schools may continue using online resources rather than returning to a paper and pen exams or lecture notes.  

Even when in-person instruction becomes a norm again, it is extremely probable that people will continue wearing masks for years to come. For one, cases of respiratory illnesses like the flu declined drastically with mask wearing and other factors. Masks may be expected of workers and students who are slightly under the weather or not up to par health-wise. 

Activities outside of work and school are also likely to be forever changed. People spent more time outdoors during the pandemic. Walks, hiking, and socially distanced picnics became popular, especially during the first few months of quarantine and the summer of 2020. I would have to guess that this lean towards spending time outdoors will continue this year and likely into the next. This is a positive effect of the pandemic, as research shows outdoor activities reduce stress and can improve health.  

Gatherings may have been moved outside, but larger get-togethers are not as common as they once were. In fact, smaller holidays and celebrations may continue to be the norm even after the COVID era ends. Most activities done in groups may be done in pods or even solo. After all, quarantine and self-isolation has forced an introverted phase over most of the globe.  

After such a life-altering and historic period, the norms are bound to change to adjust to such circumstances. What we have learned is that time and normalcy can change from one day to next and they certainly have. Hugs, parties, and concerts became a thing of the past in 2020. Therefore, in 2021 and beyond, we can take these changes and make the best out of them.