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.
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.
Hopefully your boss will finally admit that all his dumb meetings actually could have been emails all along.
The phrase "avoid it like the plague" - turns out people don't do that.
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.
A massive amount of people now know they can work from home.
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.
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.
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.
My dogs have expected me to basically be around all the time and rub their belly’s 24/7
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.
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"!
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.
As a current college student, I am in favor of keeping recorded lectures. It's way more helpful than just having notes or slides.
Shopping will continue to be mostly online and malls will likely die out faster than they were already going to.
Health care workers going to work without a mask on. Definitely took for granted seeing my co workers smiling faces during my long shifts
Obliviousness to how many things I touched between hand washings
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.
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
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...
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.
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!
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.
They’ll probably leave the plexiglass things up. That’s probably it.
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.
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.
Standing next to someone after they sneeze
I am afraid that a lot of karaokes and spas in our country will go out of business.
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.
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"
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
I have the impression that people has shown their worst part and this will have consequences for long time
Cruise Ships... dubious that industry will come out the other side without radical changes
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.
Snow days (for school)