This pandemic has made us all experience something which we never thought we would. From spending months inside our homes without being able to go out to thinking twice even before stepping out, our worlds have definitely changed. Most of us believed that it’s just a matter of a month or two but now it has extended to almost a year now, shattering all our hopes of getting back into our normal routine. But as the Corona crisis is still at its peak around the world, claiming the lives of many, there is a conversation going around these days about how this will be the “new normal” now. That makes us wonder if this restrictive way of life can ever be considered normal and what exactly does terming such turbulent times would lead to a new normal after Covid-19 and what would it really mean.
The World Amidst the Pandemic
The extremity of this pandemic could be only understood when you look at the numbers. As a fact, there are 33.7 million confirmed cases and over one million deaths to date. And these numbers signify the threat that Corona is posing to the world. But that’s just one side of the story. The other side of this is how it has threatened the livelihood of people across the world. During the periods of subsequent lockdowns, a majority of the population shifted to working from their homes, students resorted to online learning but there was a part of the population which was not privileged enough to have such access. People lost their jobs, the economy crashed and every country was battling with just one question, what’s the way forward to the new normal after Covid-19?
The New Normal
Once the questions started looming around about the new future or the new world all of us have entered during the pandemic, that’s when this idea of the “New Normal” started making rounds. The economic and social aspect of this new phase is that the government and individuals need to work together to restart the economy while simultaneously making efforts to minimise transmission. The world is not ready for another lockdown, so we need to maintain social and economic activities while taking all the necessary precautions to control the spread of the disease.
But when after months of the lockdown the economy finally reopened, within weeks the Covid-19 cases reached a new height. All the efforts to contain it were proved to be not enough. And this was our reality check. That as a nation we were not able to mould ourselves into a system where we could get on with our normal lives in a way which prevented the spread of the Corona. The trend that we witnessed was that the control measures were relaxed and the risk perception steadily declined. As a result, the disease started to spread throughout the transmission. It became really difficult to imagine a world where we can find a new normal after covid-19.
Even though the elder generation and the children continued to stay inside the safety of their homes, they were exposed to the virus through other members of their family. Also, with asymptomatic cases, it became impossible to keep track of the actual cases. This recent rise in cases and undetected transmission among younger and healthier populations exposes the reality that the COVID-19 outbreak will likely continue for the foreseeable future until a vaccine becomes widely available. And we need to accept that till then things will not go back to normal. And therefore we need to accept this present scenario as our “new normal” and make our journey towards a new future after Covid-19.
This Present Crisis Demands a “New Future”
More than anyone this “new future” lies within the hands of the government and the policymakers. They need to come up with “more sustainable and targeted response models that proactively work to suppress new COVID-19”. And this foundation to the “new future” can be laid by improving our healthcare systems. As we know that constant testing could help first in the detection and then containing the spread of the disease. So, the reach of the healthcare system should be expanded and every person should have access to it. In the last few months, there were instances where people died because of lack of treatment. As we lead towards a new normal after Covid-19, there shouldn’t be any space for such incidents. Every region of the world should have a strong public health and healthcare system equipped with all the necessary resources to tackle events of such scale.
The second thing that the “New Future” will have to ensure is that every student from both the urban and rural milieu has access to online learning. Schools are not going to open anytime soon and therefore it’s the responsibility of the government that no child should suffer because of inaccessibility. So, this envisioned “New Normal after Covid-19” needs to bring a strong healthcare and educational infrastructure to increase its reach and avoid any kind of disparity in terms of access to healthcare or education.
How Normal is this “New Normal”?
There’s actually nothing normal about this “new normal”. More than anything it’s about the acceptance that the present scenario is not going to change any time sooner and therefore we need to make adjustments to resume our normal life in the best possible manner. Sanitisers, social distancing and face masks are what this “new normal” is made up of. What you need to do is accept that things are not the way they were once and that you and your family is under the risk of being a victim of this virus. As they say “prevention is better than cure”. So, you need to adopt all the necessary preventive measures and get used to this way of life at least until the vaccine arrives and that’s how we can build upon this new normal after Covid-19 is eliminated.
But one needs to understand that this new normal whether it’s now or after Covid-19, it shouldn’t be about normalising suffering but about a hope that we are strong enough to survive. What we need right now is to stay strong as a community and fight it together. It’s not going to be easy but we have no other option but to fight it. And that’s the only way that we can pave a way towards a new future which will be better in terms of resistance to any such future calamities. Stay tuned to Leverage Edu as we bring you more such informative and educational updates on how the world and the academic sphere is tackling the new normal!