The pandemic has had a massive impact on many things—our daily and work routines, hygiene habits, the way we socialize, shop, and behave in public, our plans as well as those of many businesses and governments, and a slew of many other things.

Many of us have grown accustomed to the way the world has changed, but are also looking forward to the time when things will go back to normal. Alas, not everything will remain the way it has been because of how drastically the coronavirus has changed the world and the way it used to work.

So, it does seem appropriate to wonder what has been changed forever. Reddit user u/Cuish has recently asked that very question—what will never be the same again once the pandemic is over?—and Reddit delivered over 17,000 responses.

Bored Panda invites you to read through some of the best and most thought-provoking answers to the question. Scroll down to read through them and make sure to comment and vote on the ones you liked the most.

#1

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over My marriage.

My wife and I had to work from home together (separate jobs) from March until September when she had to go back to the office. I am still working from home. During this time, we became increasingly closer. I have heard so many stories of marital problems being caused by Covid. I literally miss my wife everyday she has to go to work.

I meet her at the door like a fucking puppy. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes forced proximity does too.

level 1 quimbykimbleton , blupics Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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#2

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Hopefully your boss will finally admit that all his dumb meetings actually could have been emails all along.

cassiecas88 , woodleywonderworks Report

Karynne Williams
Community Member
2 months ago

I think this is my favorite. I have been saying this for years.

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#3

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over The phrase "avoid it like the plague" - turns out people don't do that.

puntilnexttime , burnbless Report

Emilingo
Community Member
2 months ago

maybe we can make 'avoid it like covid' a phrase.

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#4

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Time spent with my kids.

Pre-pandemic I would leave the house 5 days a week at 6:15am to commute to the office, usually before anyone else in my house is awake. And I'd get home most evenings just in time to put them to bed. I'll never go back to that. The past 8 months I've actually seen my boys grow up in front of my eyes and I get lots of quality time with them every day, even with work from home.

I know now what i was missing.

darylcarolan , Eduardo Merille Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

YAY! Win-win.

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#5

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over A massive amount of people now know they can work from home.

OttoManSatire , deldevries Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
2 months ago

I get so much more done at home!

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#6

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over I will not take hugs for granted.

Joesdad65 , Ryan Report

Elizabeth Clothier
Community Member
2 months ago

I miss hugs.

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#7

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Anytime you're sick, you'll wear a mask. I'm amazed at all the times I flew before when I had a cold, and didn't wear a mask.

idi0disq0 , osseous Report

Matthew White
Community Member
2 months ago

this is true

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#8

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Most of the mom and pop stores in my town are gone forever. Some of these stores I grew up with, the nickle arcade, the tiny French bakery my aunt took us to when we got good grades, the only ramen shop open after 10PM, my favorite donut shop, the fancy British tea shop I never had a good date in but many London Fogs that were utterly perfect, the only dim sum place, the handmade mochi and tea shop, the only cigar shop in town to get fancy cigars...

I lament the death of all these tiny businesses I took for granted. I always thought they'd be around. Now my community is left with just brand named box stores, no more originality and flavor. Just closed skyrise buildings surrounded by a garishly lit Denny's, Olive Garden, and Target.

Not-A-SoggyBagel , GT#1 Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

We lost a few in my small town, but we’re far enough away from anything larger that most people have closed temporarily or are making delivery arrangements for goods purchased.

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#9

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Office life. My company has already announced that once we are allowed to go back, we'd only be going once or twice a week. It seems many realized how feasible working from home is.

GarionOrb , Vancouver Film School Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

I would hate to blur the boundaries between my home and work life!

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#10

My dogs have expected me to basically be around all the time and rub their belly’s 24/7

puddyspud Report

rspanther
Community Member
2 months ago

I don't see a down side to this.

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#11

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Blowing out the candles on your birthday cake

level 1 Speakinmymind96 , Dark Dwarf Report

Red
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I still dont know why we do that we are technically eating a cake that somebody just spat onto.

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#12

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Working in an office, particularly in Japan.

I live in Japan. Going to the office and spending all day here is a deep cultural tradition. So many companies here, even in the early COVID days, flat out publicly said "Hah, no, we will NEVER be doing that 'work from home' thing, sorry. That's laughably naïve."

Then, the country issued a "Declaration of National Urgency" (not an actual Emergency, as that would entitle the govt to be actually accountable to the livelihoods of the people, just a very strong arm public stance and shaming businesses into following suit).

And those traditional Japanese businesses saw what happened to their bottom lines when they no longer had to pay for electricity, heating/AC, cleaning, office equipment and maintenance, subsidized travel expenses to/from work, soft items like coffee and snacks, etc... and so many of them now are singing the praises of a "sensible work from home policy" and planning for even long-term work-from-home options.

Diamond_Sutra , Kenichi Takahashi Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
2 months ago

I’m so relieved about this. I used to argue with my last boss about her wanting me to show up to the office—just for obedience’s sake? It made no sense. She didn’t even like going in herself.

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#13

People coming into work sick to show how dedicated to work they are or saving those days for 'mental health days' meant ironically.

No Justin! Don't come over to my desk with your coughing and runny nose telling me how bad you're 'roughing it' at work to get some sympathy. "If you're looking for sympathy, look under the dictionary between shit and syphilis"!

greenbanky Report

Dodo
Community Member
2 months ago

I doubt this will change in the US where most people can't afford to take sick days and/or aren't entitled to them

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#14

I’m hoping that this convinces the (American, pretty much everyone else has this figured out already) masses that healthcare is a human right and should not be tied to employment. The pandemic has shown that plenty of people lose their jobs through no fault of their own, despite their best efforts and that should not condemn them to either going without healthcare or accumulating crippling debt when they lose their health insurance coverage.

trying_to_adult_here Report

Mosheh Wolf
Community Member
2 months ago

Yet nearly half of the people in the USA happily voted for people who wanted to take away what little healthcare they had... So no, it will not change. Somebody smarter and more original than me said something to the effect that poor and middle class Americans think that they are millionaires who are temporarily broke, so they will happily acquiesce to laws that benefit the wealthy but harm the poor.

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#15

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over As a current college student, I am in favor of keeping recorded lectures. It's way more helpful than just having notes or slides.

dan4mt , Radiofabrik - Community Media Association Salzburg Report

Deniz Vitvitskiji
Community Member
2 months ago

Same, I can't read mine or my teachers notes.

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#16

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over My definition of “personal space.”

taebek1 , Phil Denton Report

BZ FurFur
Community Member
2 months ago

Indeed! <3 I'm happy to give up my "personal space" for a kitkit

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#17

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Shopping will continue to be mostly online and malls will likely die out faster than they were already going to.

FrogginBullfish_ , Rene Schwietzke Report

Eric Mac Fadden
Community Member
2 months ago

I already hated malls anyway...

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#18

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Health care workers going to work without a mask on. Definitely took for granted seeing my co workers smiling faces during my long shifts

madif0626 , QEClassCarriers Report

K.
Community Member
2 months ago

I would always flush when someone compliments me on my smile and teeth. I was a little kid with thick eyebrows, huge lips, and big teeth. Apparently, they’re in demand now. Never really wanted to believe it since I grew up hearing differently. I’ll try to be in more pictures, smiling.

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#19

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Obliviousness to how many things I touched between hand washings

level 1 snortingdietcoke , Admire Studios (Twyla Lapointe) Report

Tash
Community Member
2 months ago

Im so aware of everything i touch now. I didnt realise before how many things i casually put my hands on just on my commute to work.

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#20

Literally this morning, our local paper reported that the government is aiming to achieve full internet coverage throughout Indonesia, reaching even the remote villages by 2024. We had a local meme as our boomer minister said a few years back something in the line of "Why do we need strong internet access?" It took the poor stealing smartphones for the sole purpose of letting their kids attend online classes to convince them. So the answer to the question is: some boomers' view on the value of internet accessability.

level 1 Lizeck Report

Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

The sadness here is that there has been a Global Payoff to lawmakers to disband internet access with removing Net Neutrality. ( If you don't know, you should) It's disgraceful. Karma taught them through CoVid that money Can't Buy Everything

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#21

Childhood development theories - we now have an entire group of children who have missed what are regarded as developmental milestones. Learning to play cooperatively with others, learning to share, empathy building, etc. It will be very interesting to see the research coming out over the next decade or so

JaBe68 Report

Emilingo
Community Member
2 months ago

I know somebody who missed the end of kindergarten and is now starting first grade. She's been a nightmare. It is not interesting, trust me.

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#22

Food delivery just being dropped off on your doorstep. Remember when you had to go outside and make EYE CONTACT like some kind of PERSON?! No more, my friends. Just leave it outside and I’ll get it when I’m ready. No more scrambling to find pants when you’re half baked and hungry...

paperbackella Report

Tash
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah, I kind of like the whole less direct contact with strangers part of this.

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#23

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over As a nursing assistant... I will be forever oh so hesitant to get near someone (particularly the elderly who like to cough directly at you) without my eye-shield and mask.

Pigvalve , Official U.S. Navy Page Report

Softsquatch
Community Member
2 months ago

I didn't know elderly people did that 😂

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#24

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over My waistline

Sk8rmom , Alan Levine Report

Bridget Price
Community Member
2 months ago

but that hershey bar just looked so good... just sitting there....

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#25

Hopefully frequent handwashings will become the norm. And hand sanitizers in shops, restaurants and public spaces.

As someone who refuses to touch food if I haven't washed my hands (I am emetophobic, I'm terrified of the stomach flu), this endless supply everywhere I go is really nice. And people who usually don't care about washing their hands do it more often!

martybarty Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

As a super-smeller/super-taster, the scent of hand sanitizer in a restaurant really, really, really interferes with the taste of my food.

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#26

Having been the funeral organist for numerous pandemic-caused deaths:

I can bear first-hand witness to the sad fact that the families and friends of the departed brought to their death by COVID-19 will never be the same.

Back2Bach Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
2 months ago

That’s real. <3

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#27

They’ll probably leave the plexiglass things up. That’s probably it.

saydizzle Report

Neva Nevičica
Community Member
2 months ago

They put plexiglass thing on my desk. You would't believe how speckled with spit it was at the end of the day (in the period when masks were not mandatory). All of that spit ended on me and on the desk before that. I love the plexiglas thing, honestly.

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#28

Never-The-Same-Pandemic-Over Drinking fountains.

indianalayla , travelwayoflife Report

Erika Jones
Community Member
2 months ago

I miss these.

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#29

It's annoying how (seemingly) quickly my life went from talking about where we wanted to buy a house to discussing the possibility of moving back in with my parents for a while.

RIP live music career, you will be missed.

MaritMonkey Report

Nigel Rodgers
Community Member
2 months ago

I have faith things will turn to normal for you. In the mean time social media is actually a serious WFH alternative. Check out reddit r/pan, tiktok, twitch, YouTube and Facebook among others.

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#30

Movies, unfortunately. Cinema specifically. I'm sure a lot of production companies will take enormous losses or possibly file bankruptcy as no one is paying to go see movies anymore. The other issue being that no one can really make movies at the moment either. Travel bans all over, logistic issues, actors not able to be within close proximity to one another, and then all the post-production work that, for the most part can't be done from home. Little to no support for creative arts jobs from governments around the globe. Artists encouraged to retrain in other sectors.

erinxeddie Report

Oathbraker
Community Member
2 months ago

Here's a thought- stop paying actors more than 1 million per movie. And stop wasting millions more on marketing- youtube is free. And maybe, just maybe stop taking most of the profits from cinema owners forcing them to sell expensive food and drink.

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#31

Standing next to someone after they sneeze

chronos37 Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 months ago

Or cough.

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#32

I am afraid that a lot of karaokes and spas in our country will go out of business.

kabochakabochasweet Report

nanashi
Community Member
2 months ago

Haven't been to any cinemas, karaoke bar, and hot spring spas since the pandemic. I missed them.

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#33

Dating is going to get even more app related which isnt good for most people honestly. Especially if people work at home more and dont go out for entertainment.

binkerfluid Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
2 months ago

I don’t know if I agree with this.

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#34

My attitude towards my entertainment backlog. Previously I used to look at my PlayStation library or my Netflix list and think "If I just had a few weeks off,I could make a serious dent"

I've had more then a few weeks off and my backlog seems if anything more endless,I'll probably be in the retirement home with that little voice in the back of my head going "Peaky Blinders is meant to be good,should get on that"

OnGapYearForever Report

Oathbraker
Community Member
2 months ago

Peaky Blinders is good though. It has some absolutely terrific acting and a great soundtrack. And what's best- seasons are only 6 episodes long. I dislike series with 20+ episodes per season that just stretch out the plot endlessly.

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#35

People actually knowing what 6ft looks like. Seriously, everyone's estimations of 6ft distance have been just gradually decreasing and decreasing to a point where most people are hanging out 3ft away and thinking it's 6

wafflefelafel Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

I’m 5’3”, so I always look at the person in front of me and think “how much clearance is there if I were to fall face-first?” Most of the stores in my small town have masking tape strips on the floor areas leading to the check-out counter.

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#36

I have the impression that people has shown their worst part and this will have consequences for long time

CamXXXSingles Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
2 months ago

Let’s not bet on it. :(

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#37

Cruise Ships... dubious that industry will come out the other side without radical changes

level 1 PirateKilt Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

They’re sooooo bad for the environment!

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#38

Fewer weddings, more elopements.

coffeeblossom Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 months ago

Or at least much smaller weddings, with far less guests.

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#39

Video games. They feel like they did when I was a teenager again. Usually I feel guilty that I'm not doing something more productive, but right now I could care less about spending a whole weekend doing almost nothing but playing video games.

SleepyConscience Report

John L
Community Member
2 months ago

I remember my father always chastising me about playing video games. That interest led me into the computer field and I make more than he ever did. Go, joystick that, dad!

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#40

Snow days (for school)

Guzz14 Report

Luna Lovegood
Community Member
2 months ago

Yep. My school district has basically said no more snow days, ever. Future generations will never know the joy :(

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