Throughout history, human populations have been hit by pandemics. From the Spanish flu in 1918 – 1919, to the bubonic plague which kept popping up through the centuries, to cholera outbreaks in the 1800s. Each time, we have come through, having learned new ways to live. For example, cholera outbreak in London highlighted the need for a proper way to keep waste water away from drinking water supplies. So with each epidemic, humans come through, living in a ‘new normal’.
This time around, here is what our ‘new normal’ will likely look like:
Many of us have grown up with physical forms of greetings, from handshakes to hugs, perhaps even a kiss on the cheek. Post-covid, our ways of greeting each other will need to be creative to avoid physical contact. This can include a wave, a nod, or perhaps an elbow bump or a foot tap.
Anyone who has taken public transportation knows what it feels like to be crammed onto a bus or a subway car with about a million other people. Or going to the beach on a hot summer day, or visiting the mall on the weekend. Post-covid, many people will (hopefully) try to maintain a distance, and so crowds will be less… crowded. This will be especially true in places that can be regulated – public transportation, stores, archaeological sites, museums, etc.
Traveling post-covid will still be incredibly rewarding, though there will be more hygiene regulations in place. Airlines will have increased sanitation protocols, such as contactless check-in, face mask requirements, some may require a recent negative COVID-19 test. Hotels will have increased sanitation as well, with more frequent cleaning of public areas, table service at breakfast rather than buffet, and more. All of these protocols are there to keep not only travelers safe, but everyone else as well – hotel staff, guides, drivers, etc.
Also, travelers may want to focus on visiting areas that have fewer people. So taking a trek to a lesser known area of Colombia, visiting a small vineyard in Argentina, exploring lesser known Inca and pre-Inca ruins in Peru. This allows people to get a feel for each place while avoiding as many people as possible.
These are just some examples of what life may be like in the ‘new normal’. It may take a little while to get used to it, but as humans, one of our biggest strengths is the ability to evolve and adapt. So stock up on fun, comfortable masks, and get ready for the future!