Imagine life after COVID-19: a 'new normal' that's a better world altogether.
When will COVID-19 end? When will life go back to normal? These are the questions on everyone's mind, and they're questions to which no one has a definitive answer. We recommend taking the time to focus not just on the 'when' but also the 'what'. What will that 'new normal' look like in the world after COVID-19? Will we have learned what matters the most to us? Will we have had a glimpse of what we're capable of and learned what we can do without? We have the chance, to some extent at least, to redefine what our society looks like, and it's at times like this that we absolutely should let our imaginations run wild.
Imagine if the pollution didn’t come back.
Imagine if the economy on which we all rely didn’t require polluting the planet. Imagine we could keep clean air, so we could always see the sky. City skylines would stand out in sharp contrast against clear blue, not shrouded in smog. Imagine this calamity, that has killed so many, will inspire us to change to clean energy, using the technology we already possess to our own advantage so that we would live longer, in a more beautiful world.
Imagine we ate sustainably grown food that didn't degrade our soil, poison our rivers and lakes, and generate huge quantities of greenhouse gasses.
Imagine if we never took each other’s company for granted again.
You’ve heard it said scores of times already, “after this is all over I’m never saying no to a plan with friends again.” Imagine if we actually learned the value of each other’s time and each other’s company and we were there for each other more often, in a more real, physically present way. We'd go to the mid-week events, support our friends at art shows and gigs, engage more in our local community and make more contact with the people around us, more often.
Imagine if those seasonal flus didn’t happen anymore.
You may have been washing your hands for half a century already, but how many of us re-learned how to do it properly this year? Imagine if our new hygiene regimens drastically reduced the regular seasonal sicknesses that spread through our society. Imagine we became healthier in the long term, and lived happier lives as a result.
Imagine if we all worked from home whenever we could.
Imagine if our employers learned to trust us to be responsible and productive in the comfort of our own homes, and we learned to trust ourselves too. Think of less time in the car, bumper-to-bumper on the asphalt. Instead, getting in the car would become something exciting that's associated with the start of a trip or adventure. Think (again) of less pollution and cleaner air.
Imagine if we stayed in the habit of supporting local businesses.
When the businesses that survive reopen their doors will you walk the few blocks to the local store? Will you buy goods that have been designed locally and manufactured close by whenever possible? Imagine if we bought local, even if it’s a bit more expensive, because a thriving community is one we want to live in. Imagine if symbols of status were no longer wrapped up in the foreign and exotic, but instead involved the extent to which you can support the people around you.
Imagine we developed sustainable ways to feed the entire human population.
This whole terrible situation is said to have started when someone ate an infected bat. Imagine we found a way of feeding everybody that didn’t destroy the habitats and lives of wild creatures, and that didn’t drive climate change. Imagine we ate sustainably grown food that didn't degrade our soil, poison our rivers and lakes, and generate huge quantities of greenhouse gasses.
Imagine we learned to truly value the work done by everyone within our society.
Imagine we were grateful every day to the doctors, the nurses, the delivery drivers and grocery store clerks, the truckers and trash removers, the street sweepers, police and paramedics. Imagine we truly valued all of the people contributing to our societies and economy, not just the glamorous occupations. Imagine we respected people doing society's dirty work as much as we respect people in suits and uniforms with badges.