By Wilma Bedford
The new normal will result in another way of socialising, another way of working, of shopping and going on holiday. Current circumstances have forced people to come to a standstill, and have given them time to reflect on and reconsider their values.
In a worldwide survey by VOX, a New York newspaper, it came to light that the lockdown has caused new behavioural and lifestyles that people wish to retain.
1) At the top of the list is a change in consumer behaviour. People are becoming aware that clothes, food and gadgets don’t bring lasting joy. Most of these items were acquired in a moment of immediate gratification and a considerable amount was spent on eating out or fast foods and take-aways. The new normal is minimalism, to repair or restore rather than to replace, as was done during times of crisis in the past and which will now become the new norm with uncertain incomes in the offing. It is also becoming the new normal to support local businesses or suppliers.
2) For those in the privileged position of being able to work from home and receiving a steady income, the tendency is to place less work pressure on themselves and not fill every second of the day with work obligations. Now the focus is on the most important people in your life: your family and friends. You no longer chase after status, the car you drive is good enough, your boutique clothes are redundant and cocktails after work will no longer win you favour. You now have more time to spend on the things that you value or that can be to your betterment.
3) Prioritising family, friends and people who stood by you and to whom you also offered support during a crisis becomes important. You now also make time to mend severed bonds with estranged family or old school friends and build a new kind of network.
4) Involvement with ethical issues and activism appears on your list of interests. You are aware of your carbon footprint and become involved in charity projects, or even with political activism and creating awareness campaigns. The new normal lets you count your blessing and intervene in the suffering of others.
5) You have more time for regular exercise and after the lockdown may visit a sport centre more regularly, practise a new sport or improve your existing one.
6) You would rather stay home and have become aware of food security issues, prefer to prepare meals at home, start your own vegetable garden and live healthier, simpler and closer to nature.
7) It becomes important to you to get into nature more because you now also have more time to do so. You no longer yearn for an exotic holiday overseas, but would rather take a holiday in your own country on a lower budget.
8) To work from home is the new normal that lifts the stress load of travelling and deadlines from your shoulders. You are calmer, work at your own tempo, set your own goals, work in a more orderly fashion, get more done, don’t get involved in office politics and can make time for family obligations or personal appointments as needed.
However, we have to remember that although we create our own new normal, fortified against the pandemic, the rising number of jobless and homeless people will make the new normal take on a whole new appearance.
Quarantine has changed us-and it is not all bad
Samuel, S. June 9, 2020. Vox. https://www.vox.com