What will post COVID-19 will look like?
We’re now 2+ years in COVID-19 and the global pandemic. Like most people living in this world, I suffered greatly with my mobility and had to make the best with given situation. Many people suffered financially, economies of few industries took major hits (tourism, entertainment, and restaurants) and barely breathing above water trying to escape and survive through this pandemic. Governments of the world tried to mitigate the economy by printing more money than they ever did and distributing to the general public, hoping to ease the anger and possibly avoid chaos.
Fast forward to 2022, the daily activities have somewhat back to the pre-pandemic although numbers show that we still get many daily positive cases, but people are starting to treat this COVID-19 like general cold and simply moving on with our daily errands. Here in United States, mask mandates are long gone and people are handshaking and touch each other like we’re finally free from the COVID-19. We are not, we just pretending we are.
I was living in South Korea from 2019 to 2021, the entire 2 years of global pandemic period. The number of cases in South Korea were much lower than many other countries, but people still cared and feared greatly. Many simply avoid going to the mass congested areas like city center, malls, markets, etc. Masks were mandated everywhere. If you didn’t have your mask on, people looked at you like a psycho and avoided you like you’re a contaminated person. That’s how people treated COVID-19 and did our best to mitigate the situation. Obviously, countries are still battling and Korea’s cases have risen dramatically since I left (hitting record 1.4M cases in March 17 alone).
Even with mask mandate off in United States, I still carry a mask everywhere like it’s now a part of my everyday travel kit — along with cellphone, car key, and a wallet. I make sure those 4 things are in my hand or pocket before I leave my house. I walk around streets and malls where people don’t wear nor carry masks any longer, making myself cringe a little and try to stay away from them even though they’ve done nothing wrong.
Like many doctors and world experts (do we have experts in COVID-19?) say, the COVID-19 is going to be with us for foreseeable future and that we just have to carry on. Governments cannot put restrictions any longer because people have already suffered enough economically. Many long-run businesses closed simply because people couldn’t dine out. We’ve lost way too many souls in last two years with this disease. A cure would be really helpful but only God knows when that will be discovered/developed.
People will lose masks where wearing masks isn’t norm. Countries in Asia, such as Korea and Japan, people were wearing masks to protect themselves from other diseases long before the COVID-19 and will likely continue to use and wear like it’s a daily must now. I personally cannot wait to ditch my mask and walk around my neighborhood freely, but still feel uncomfortable seeing people without masks.
Since we’ve got much bigger social issues to deal with in April 2022 (Soaring Housing Markets, War in Ukraine, Racial/Gender Issues), this COVID-19 somewhat became an afterthought. Perhaps it’s good thing that we stop talking about COVID-19 and overcome the fear. People need to interact, socialize, and gather for many reasons and economies thrive when we’re on the move. Staying home and isolating ourselves don’t do good for Netflix and they did well.
Year 2022 looks alot worse than Year 2021 already. I hope COVID-19 is not thinking about joining the party in 2022 and make things a lot worse than it already is. As for the masks? I’ll continue to wear them, and I hope you do as well.