First off, before I begin this week’s column, I just want to say I hope everyone is doing ok and staying healthy during this pandemic.
I, like many people most likely, am looking forward to the day regular life returns to what we view as normal. I think there may be some things this pandemic will change after restrictions are lifted.
One thing this crisis has taught businesses is the number of employees who can possibly work from home, as many employees have been forced to do just that, to limit the spread of this virus. As businesses look to recoup funds lost during this pandemic, they may see it being more economically feasible on the operational budget side to have employees working from their homes rather than in a business office. Because of this, I think some businesses may focus more on digital rather than brick and mortar.
On the positive side, we have already seen, and I think it will continue, appreciation for frontline workers. In the last few weeks, I have seen initiatives to thank healthcare workers, paramedics, police and firefighters. I’ve also noticed at the provincial and federal levels, politicians are really seeing the importance of journalists and grocery store workers. I think this crisis has really illuminated how much the current economy relies on essential workers, and I hope everyone who worked to keep the province and country moving during this pandemic is rewarded post COVID-19.
Speaking of employees, I hope this leads to more people realizing it is okay to take a sick day if you need it. Sometimes it can mean the difference between living a normal life and being in a pandemic situation.
I think this will also lead to a greater appreciation for family members and friends. While having to rely on mostly electronic means to talk, due to physical distancing measures, I think, at least in the short term, people will be really excited about seeing their loved ones and will do what they can to schedule time in their day to see them. If there’s one lesson I hope people take out of this, it is to not take experiences or people for granted. You never know how quickly things can suddenly change in life.
When this virus situation is all over, I expect some things to go back to normal. But some things may also be permanently changed by the lessons learned from this pandemic.