As vaccines continue to roll out across the nation, we are finally going to see the end of this pandemic. Hopefully, things will return to normal and we can see our friends and family again. While many of us would like to forget this pandemic ever existed, there were some good developments that came out of it.
No, I am not making light of the number of people who died, the doctors who have been overworked or the mental health issues caused by the pandemic. Instead, I’m talking about the various habits we learned over the past few months that can help fight against the spread of disease. Some of these practices helped prevent COVID-19 from becoming much worse, so here is a list of social practices I hope to continue well after the pandemic.
1. Wearing a Mask
I am not saying the government should force us to wear masks well after the pandemic, but I would suggest wearing a mask if you are sick in public. As the pandemic made it blatantly obvious, masks help prevent the spread of diseases.
Once the pandemic is over, people should wear face masks when they are sick to prevent others from getting ill. Not only is it a sign of respect for other people’s health, but it could also prevent massive amounts of people from being infected by a disease, especially those that might be immunocompromised. Plus, many Asian countries have already normalized wearing masks to protect others from getting sick, and I’m sure many U.S. citizens could do the same.
Since people are already required to wear masks if they want to leave their house, masks have become less stigmatized, so I hope this social practice continues in the future.
2. Social Distancing
I know some of us find it annoying that we have to remain 6 feet apart in public. I remember some college students mumbling about how much they had to social distance while waiting in line at One Earth. However, as someone who hates it when a random, crusty stranger is breathing down my neck, I welcome the change.
The reason the government wants us to remain 6 feet apart is because that is how far COVID-19 travels. While other diseases travel much shorter or farther than the coronavirus, we should still maintain a respectable distance when around other people to reduce any potential infections.
Of course, I am not saying that every store and restaurant should require all their patrons to stay 6 feet apart and remodel their stores to accommodate these changes in a post-pandemic world. I just want to encourage people to maintain a safe distance from others out of respect and to prevent potential diseases from being spread.
3. Getting your shots
I think this is the first time ever that people are excited to receive their shots. I always remember dreading going to the doctor’s office to get my flu shot, especially because my arm would feel sore for the rest of the day. Now, I see people ecstatic to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, in part because they want this stupid pandemic to be over.
But why stop with the coronavirus vaccine? I know a lot of people are hesitant to get their flu shot. In fact, measles is starting to make a comeback because people are getting vaccinated less. Let’s keep this energy for vaccinations, so other diseases don’t make an unwanted comeback.
So those are a couple of things I wish would remain well after the pandemic. Of course, I can’t make anyone follow the changes I recommend, but I hope people will become more considerate of their surroundings, especially if diseases are involved. Since this is college and people like to congregate at sports games or parties, I hope students are a little more conscious about their behavior when they are socializing.