For all the talk of “post-COVID life” or anything like it, the coronavirus pandemic remains very much with us. Talk of its end is premature. But we do know something about how our lives have already changed, and maybe a sense of what new or continuing changes we can plan for once the pandemic is really over.
That can be enormous or tiny. Too many of us have been very sick, or have lost loved ones, or both. Too many of us have lost jobs, or lived with the fear of going into unsafe workplaces every day. We’ve all coped with the surreal nature of living through a global pandemic, from the disinfect-your-groceries stage to seeing schools try to get around the definition of close contacts as 15 minutes of exposure within 6 feet by having kids get up and walk around the room every 12 to 14 minutes. Kids came home from school one day and didn’t see their friends again for months. We’ve developed opinions about the most effective and/or comfortable masks.
So, 15 months later, as you assess the changes in your life that might persist past the pandemic—whenever we truly can say it has ended—what stands out to you? Small or large, sad or funny.
I’ll go, with a small one: Growing up, I often heard or read about grandparents who had been so shaped by the Depression that they never threw anything out. These days, I look at my pantry—still, a year after grocery shortages abated, stocked with extras of everything nonperishable—and wonder if in a decade I will still have bottles of olive oil and tamari waiting in the pantry, if my grandchildren (should I have any) will roll their eyes at this historical peculiarity of mine, if always having extras will be a cliché of the COVID-19 generation.
What about you?