5 things I’ll miss about the pandemic when it ends

When the COVID-19 pandemic fades into history (which, to be clear, hasn’t happened yet), no one in the world will mourn its passing. But that’s not to say that every change we’ve made to cope with the crisis has been a bad thing. Here are five COVID-related practices we’ve learned to live with — and that I’ll miss when they go away.

Wearing masks on public transport

Public transportation may be eco-friendly, but it’s no friend to those of us who don’t want to get sick. According to the American Public Transportation Association, in 2019, the last year before much of the world was shut down by the pandemic, 34 million Americans boarded public transit every weekday — more than 9 billion a year. Especially in big cities, that kind of bustle of subways, buses, trains and light rails makes petri dishes for germs. Mandatory masking on public transport during the pandemic helped contain COVID-19 in those environments — and it could do the same for more common respiratory illnesses like the cold and flu in the fall and winter. Now that we’ve started masking the public transportation habit, let’s stick with it.
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Pick up on the sidewalk

What could be easier than curbside pickup? Simply place your order online, sail to the store and pick up your package, which will be waiting for you outside. According to a survey by Salesforce, 39% of US retail executives introduced curbside pickup to their businesses during the pandemic, and 74% of them say they will continue the practice after it expires. That’s a boon not only for consumers, but also for marketers themselves: According to a study by eMarketer, an independent analytics firm, sales of the so-called “click and collect” rose to $72.5 billion in 2020, double the total. before the pandemic. Cash for the seller and convenience for the buyer – without interacting with other people and their germs.

The rise of telehealth

My Tuesday nights are busy. As a member of a weekly psychotherapy group that meets from 6:45 PM to 8:15 PM, I have to travel nearly 40 blocks from my house to the doctor’s office and back at a time of day when I finish work and would be just as quickly stay in the house. Switching from personal to group Zoom sessions has made that experience a lot easier. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, the number of telehealth visits – for both physical and psychological care – has increased 38-fold since the start of the pandemic. Early in the pandemic, a survey of members of the American Psychiatric Association found that before COVID-19 hit, only 2% of psychiatrists reported using teletherapy with their patients most of the time. Once COVID-19 erupted, that figure rose to 84%. As a result of the pandemic, the door of telehealth has been blown wide open, making healthcare easier for both doctors and patients. I hope it doesn’t close after that.

The end of the handshake

I don’t know you, but if we ever had the chance to meet, I would definitely like you. But if it’s all the same for you, let’s eliminate the handshake from that first hello. According to a study from the University of Colorado, Boulder, an average of 150 different types of bacteria are living on the human hand at any given time — and that study was conducted before the COVID-19 virus was added to the pathogen list. Yes, the coronavirus is primarily airborne, but early in the pandemic, before the transmission routes were known, the handshake went out of style. I say keep it that way. COVID-19 or not, colds and flu are transmissible by touch. If you have to touch hands to feel like you’ve exchanged a genuine greeting, the Cleveland Clinic recommends the fist punch. A 2014 study found that germ transmission is “drasically reduced” when bumping a cool, dry fist rather than grabbing a warm, moist hand.

No more coming to work sick

In the Before Times, it was sort of a badge of honor to come to work, even when you were feeling sick. The sneezing, hacking employee who sucked it up anyway and entered the office was seen as a particularly dedicated member of the team. A 2019 survey from the workforce organization Accountemps found that 90% of workers surveyed admitted to showing up for work even when they showed symptoms of a cold or flu. About half said they simply had too much work to do, and 40% said they didn’t want to use their sick days unless they absolutely had to.

Fortunately, those days are over. Obviously the office is a no-go zone if you test positive for COVID-19, but those play-it-safe practices are increasingly applicable to other more common illnesses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend staying home with a cold, flu, or other illness, not to mention COVID-19. So-called “presenteeism” — showing up for work even when you’re sick — might not only get you stares from colleagues worried about catching what you’ve got, but it also hurts bottom line. According to the Adecco Group, a global human resources organization, presenteeism costs American and European companies an average of $45 billion a year, due to the low productivity of employees who are at work, even when they are too sick to work effectively. To feel sick? Stay in bed. Your colleagues – and employer – will thank you.

This post 5 things I’ll miss about the pandemic when it ends

was original published at “https://time.com/6144095/covid-19-pandemic-reentry/”