Five things COVID is making obsolete

It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way we do things, both in Australia and around the world. There are limited numbers in certain venues, food is being delivered contact free, and we all have a little stash of face masks we didn’t own just one year ago.

Some things we can expect to revert to the old ways. Borders will open and we’ll travel further. Small businesses will get back on their feet and we’ll see shops opening up again. The healthcare system – hopefully – will return to how it once was, allowing our frontline nurses and medical staff to finally catch a breath.

But some things won’t be returning to the post-pandemic way of life. Whether it’s for better or for worse is for you to decide.

Say goodbye to cinemas
As the pandemic stretches on, it is more than likely that most film enthusiasts have had to adapt to having their viewing needs met at home. Whether this means subscribing to entertainment providers such as Netflix, Disney+ and Stan – where the monthly fees are less than a single movie ticket – or converting the garage into an at-home movie theatre, we may be opting to stay in the comfort of our own homes rather than sit shoulder to shoulder with strangers in highly trafficked rooms.

Hip! Hip! Hygiene!
Birthday candles are outdated. Even as a child I was suspicious of eating the icing on the cake, having just watched Little Johnny discharge half his nasal content onto it. The hygiene issues with birthday candles are obvious, but don’t go throwing your candles in the bin just yet. It’s perfectly feasible that in the near future we’ll have all the singing and clapping and candle blowing, they just don’t need to be attached to the main edible attraction.

Buffets
One thing the early stages of COVID-19 has taught us is the importance of basic food hygiene. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but something about vats of food sitting out in the open under heat lamps just doesn’t scream ‘food safety’ to me. There’s also the issue of the many, many hungry dinner goers backed shoulder to shoulder, breathing on the food and using the same utensils to scoop it up. I’m sorry if you’re an enthusiastic buffet goer, but here’s to hoping that the alternatives will be even better!

No more crowded lifts
While we may mourn some of the COVID-19 changes, few people will look back fondly at the time they were pinned between two suit-clad strangers in an overcrowded lift wondering if, maybe, they did have claustrophobia all along. Office buildings have adapted to space people out for health and safety reasons, and it’s likely we’ll see caps on the numbers of people allowed to cram into a lift during peak hour – and it’s about time.  

Saying no to physical greetings
Are you a hugger? Or do you have a momentary panic when you first meet someone, unsure if you should shake hands, hug or loiter slightly outside their personal space with your hands by your sides? Well, if you’re the latter, this is great news for you.

Coronavirus has seen the end of socially mandatory physical greetings. While there was a brief and unsuccessful push to normalise the elbow tap greeting, most people have opted not to cross the 1.5-metre threshold. It’s likely that in future the pressure to touch won’t be as immense as it was in the past.

Will you be mourning any of these post-pandemic changes? Are there any you think I’ve missed? What changes would you like to see as we recover from COVID-19?

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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