Post-Coronavirus World: 5 New Habits That Are Here To Stay
COVID-19 has challenged old customs and forced us to take to new ones
Most of us sermonize that change is the only constant. But deep down, we know we are slaves to our habits. Elbowing the other person in the metro for some space, jostling with a crowd at a roadside eatery or just pressing the elevator button with our fingers.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing us to adapt to a new normal, some of our hard-to-shake habits can make way for change.
Get used to work from home
We don’t know if you love or hate it, but work from home or WFH is likely to become a more regular feature in your life. With companies, especially in the IT sector, realizing that employees can be as productive (if not more) as they are in a normal office set-up, workplace policies can see a shift.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a major player in the IT services sector, plans to bring down the number of people working from office at any point in time to 25 per cent of the total staff strength by 2025.
Expect more companies to follow suit.
No more pressing buttons with fingers
With COVID-19 making us acutely aware of the germs that stay on surfaces for long hours, many of us are already too nervous of pressing the elevator button or the keypad on the ATM machine with our fingers.
People in China are using toothpick—some innovative minds have put their lighters to good use as well—to press the elevator buttons. There is of course your elbow that you can use for the task.
You will be an expert in hand washing
You mother always told you to wash your hands before having a meal, after using the washroom and after coming back from school, but you probably never cared to listen.
Now, in a world that is grappling with COVID-19, your family doctor as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) is telling you the same thing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you must wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, cleaning the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
Once acquired, washing hands can be a difficult habit to shake off.
With handshakes getting a cold shoulder due to social distancing, the world is now waking up to Namaste. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Running away from crowded places
Most of us often say that we hate crowded places but somehow find ourselves drawn to shops and malls that have a zillion people thronging them. But with social distancing, new norms and a fear psychosis kicking in, it can be hard to convince ourselves that jostling with a hundred people for a plate of paani-puri is worth it, even after the lockdown is lifted.
According to a Harvard research published recently, “On-and-off periods of social distancing will likely be needed into 2022 to ensure hospitals have enough capacity for future COVID-19 patients in need of critical care”.
Bye to handshake, yes to Namaste
You know the world is waking up to Namaste when US President Donald Trump, known for his awkward and bizarre handshakes with world leaders, greets a visiting country head with a Namaste instead of a handshake at the White House.
While in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare mandates you maintain a physical distance of 1 metre with the next person when you are out in view of the COVID crisis, the guidelines on physical distancing are unlikely to change even after the lockdown is lifted.
So, don’t be surprised if you find your colleagues greeting you with a Namaste instead of a tight handshake when it’s time to return to the office.