Caution must be exercised - most countries and cities that lifted their lockdowns too early have seen another spike in infections and deaths. Nevertheless, it's been decided by our policy-makers that the economy has taken enough of a hit, and it is time for us to resume commerce.
So how will life after lockdown play out? What can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones? Well, obviously wear a mask in public. Socially distance. Sanitize your hands. That's what we've been told. Whilst these might be half-measures substituting for an extended lockdown, it seems like people are bored of the pandemic, and have decided it's time to try and go back to normal nonetheless.
It's pretty safe to say that life probably won't go back to normal for the foreseeable future though. Expect social distancing guidelines to never fully go away. Expect more people to always be wearing masks. Expect a constant fear of every stranger being a possible infection vector. Dining in restaurants seems to be a sparse luxury and an unnecessary risk. The safe reopening of clubs any time this year seems like a pipe-dream, and even the pub is proving a vastly different experience, with most choosing instead to drink at home.
Student life is no doubt going to be drastically different for the incoming batch of freshers. With no physical Freshers week and lectures on hold until October, they will be missing out on lots of the experiences current and past university students took for granted. One wonders what the accommodation halls situation will look like, and how/if social distancing will be observed between housemates. Student life may now be somewhat more boring, but students are ingenious when it comes to ways of having fun. It'll be interesting to see what new customs or traditions develop. Dating will most likely be weird for a while too. Not only is it unsafe to be meeting new people, but it would be strange to rock up to a date wearing a facemask. We'll probably be judged by our taste in facemasks as they potentially become a fashion statement.
It'll be different from anything in living memory, but these days most things seem be heading that way. We live in exciting times.
Featured Image: Pixabay: @sweetlouise