After the Pandemic: Change or No Change?

BY: CLAIRE KIM

Yesterday, my father asked me a supposed difficult question: “Claire, do you think people will change or revert back to their normal ways of life once the coronavirus pandemic ends?”

Well, from my perspective, the obvious answer is that people will NOT change once everything falls back into place. The simple explanation for this is the psychology of human tendency: humans have this natural willingness to follow motions or social constructs to feel comfortable. Whether this comfort is fulfilled by fitting in within a social group or by following natural patterns, usually rooted in instilled habits, humans can’t wait to feel comfortable even if new lessons are learned.

The whole spiel that the coronavirus will forever change our lifestyles is an utter exaggeration. Yes, of course, our lifestyle will change, but only to a certain extent. I guess opportunities for e-learning will be more readily available, takeout services might become more heavily relied upon more than ever before, and the concept of “working from home” might become an option for those employees who prefer such environments. But really other than that, there isn’t any extreme upgrade from our previous lifestyle. If anything, this supposed extreme upgrade can describe our current lifestyle WITH the coronavirus pandemic still happening.

I think what a lot of people forget is that humans are animals that adapt and respond to various stimuli within environments. Right now, this stimuli is the coronavirus and because of its presence, we are compelled to change our current lifestyle habits to fit the new standards. However, when it’s gone, so will our adapted tendencies. The obvious, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer every moment, standing six feet apart, will definitely end. But more importantly, the less obvious changes, going on walks to get some fresh air or spending time with friends without devices, will sadly halt.

Once the virus is gone, there’s no need to respond anymore. Thus, we go back to normal, to our regular patterns before the pandemic occurred as if nothing ever happened.

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