OPINION BY HAYLEE JOY
A big question mark in society is whether or not everyday life will return to the way it was before the pandemic. Between sneezing in a store and having large gatherings, a lot of these things will never be normalized again.
Although fewer precautions are being taken than there were in March, that does not ensure that things will go back to the way they were before COVID-19. Things such as streaming platforms, online shopping, virtual learning and working from home will become the new norm in our society.
As school systems adjust to virtual learning, some students find it easier or more convenient than going to school in person. Not having to leave the house to be educated is much easier than finding transportation to get to school. Having all assignments done and turned in online is more convenient for students and it saves a lot of paper.
Many adults have had to work from home as well. Families have rearranged their houses to create a home office. This will be more convenient because it will save gas and make people’s lives easier.
Snow days may be a thing of the past as virtual learning continues to expand. For the schools that will not be completely online, having the ability to plan lessons virtually will come in handy during these situations. If a storm is expected, teachers will prepare online lessons so that their students can learn from home on those days. Emily Rhoades, a junior at Wadsworth High School, shares her thoughts on the situation.
“I really hope snow days won’t be taken away from us, but I know the teachers are prepared to go online,” said Rhoades. “There is definitely a possibility that we will still have to do work on days that we can’t come in due to the weather.”
As the trend of virtual learning keeps increasing, more and more students will be getting their education online. Because of this, there will no longer be a use for snowdays.
“Although it will prevent students and teachers from getting behind, it will be hard to not have those free days,” said Rhoades
More company employees will start to work from home as time goes on. They will either make an existing room in their home an office, or they will add to their home design in order to work from their house.
Lindsay McNamara, a manager in a customer logistics department at Smucker’s, had to switch from her office building to work at home. She first had to leave the building in March and will have to continue to work from home until further notice.
“Working from home is really convenient because there is no commute to and from so I save money on gas,” said McNamara.
She converted a room in her basement to a home office to have a space to work in every day. COVID will also forever change home designs. In the future, society will start to see more home offices in new house and apartment designs. This will be because more and more of the employed will be working from their homes and will need a qualified place to get their work done while remaining in their household.
Just like people made home offices, there have also been a lot of home gyms being created. This happens to be cheaper, safer, and more convenient than attending an in-person organization. Home gym sales went through the roof during the months of quarantine.
Christina Ball, the owner of Hammer Girl Fitness, speaks about how the pandemic has affected her business.
She began adjusting as soon as she even heard there was a possibility of her gym being shut down. Ball immediately began online classes. She found space in her house, got a tripod, and worked with the equipment that she had.
“Luckily, when my kids were small, this is how I worked out,” said Ball. “The real challenge was thinking of pricing and how to go digital that made the most sense for everything. I needed to know how to stay connected and keep them motivated!”
She decided to use Facebook live videos, and she managed to keep things as routine as possible.
During quarantine, shoppers resorted to shopping more online. The curbside grocery business will also continue to expand. Businesses such as Doordash, Grubhub and Uber Eats will thrive in the near future.
Apart from food delivery, families have been and will continue to cook and eat from home more, as opposed to going out to a restaurant.
Food is not the only thing that is being purchased virtually. Online shopping is another way to preserve gas and stay home to prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19. Browsing through a store online is generally more organized and less time consuming as opposed to in-store.
Regan Simpson, a junior at Wadsworth High School, is a huge fan of shopping. Simpson says that it is so much easier now since she can shop from her bed.
“I totally think more people will start shopping online especially if COVID doesn’t go away soon,” said Simpson. “Also, with some stores going to no cash it’s just a lot easier and safer.”
While staying at home trying to slow the spread of the virus, families started exposing themselves to many of these platforms. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and plenty of other at-home entertainment providers will continue to show increases in their users. Lilly Baron, another junior at Wadsworth High School, started using Disney Plus and Hulu during the early months of quarantine. She’s familiar with streaming platforms and she claims that they are more convenient than using cable.
“Because I obviously had plenty of time to kill, I began using more of these programs,” said Baron. “Hulu and Disney Plus are really easy to navigate through and I can get more out of them than I did with regular cable.”
These programs are thriving now and will be used more regularly in the future. Because of the recent exposure to these online entertainment sources, fewer people will use cable and will utilize these services.
Relating to entertainment, movie theaters are closing and some may never open again. Regal Cinema is indefinitely shutting down its theaters nationwide.
Telemedicine will be more regularly used, especially as technology grows. Cheryl Sestito, one of McNamara’s coworkers, just recently had twins. One of them came home from the hospital with a diaper rash and after about two weeks it got to a severe state, so Sestito called her family physician.
“They offered a virtual appointment, which for a mom of twins was incredibly convenient,” said Sestito. “I sent pictures of the rash via MyChart and the doctor was able to review prior to our virtual appointment. The zoom meeting was quick and effective. It focused on treatment and what to do next. It saved me 40 minutes round trip in a car plus the time waiting in the office in addition to not exposing my newborn to germs.”
Technology like telemedicine provides safety and assurance to people who need healthcare. As these abilities continue to be utilized more, people will go into the doctor’s office less, that is of course for non-emergency situations.
As life continues to be altered, the way we do things will also be changed. Some of these things will never go back to the way they were before the Coronavirus outbreak.