With the COVID-19 vaccine rolling out across Canada, life after the pandemic is becoming more conceivable. It is something everyday Canadians have been dreaming about for a while now. The vaccine is only one piece of the puzzle to actually get us to any form of previous normalcy we all once knew. There will be other challenges before we can finally say we are back to normal and have prevailed over COVID-19. The reality is we may really get back to the way things were prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but here is some insight into what things can help us get there or at least get a better sense of what normal or ‘new normal’ will be.
“Pandemics are not new to the human species, they're just new to us”
Vaccinations will be given in priority order, not first come first serve
People who are most at risk of developing severe health complications from COVID-19 will be vaccinated first. When it comes to deciding which populations need to be vaccinated urgently, provinces will use suggestions from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
At the rate the country is going with the vaccine rollout and the lack of vaccines being available on schedule puts us all on the back burner. Lockdowns are in place at the present moment, affecting us all in many ways, from school and business closures, to not being able to purchase a child’s toy or even getting a haircut this is again our ‘new normal’ even with a vaccine now available.
When will we return to work?
It will heavily depend on how many people receive their vaccination, how fast the vaccines work, in the continued effort to stop the spread. That being said remote work has been on the rise since the coronavirus outbreak started, and with lockdowns in place, it has been more sought after by people more now than ever.
Many organizations have realized just how efficient and cost-effective remote work can be. There is a chance to do things differently, and in some ways to do things better, many people have found they prefer working at home. Many people are happy not to go back to long traffic times and potential exposure to COVID-19. So there is a real possibility of readjusting society in a way that is more flexible.
2020 into 2021: masks, physical and social distancing, handwashing
Several pandemic protocols have carried over into 2021 if there is going to be any hope of slowing the spread of the virus. Until the majority of the population is vaccinated and more information is available on the vaccines and their ability to stop virus transmission, masks still must be worn and the same goes for physical and social distancing, frequent handwashing and avoiding crowded indoor areas.
Life after the pandemic will undoubtedly be different from life pre-2020. Older people tend to have coped quite well this past year because they know life does not always go according to plan, they know certain things may come along to change our history, for gen z’s and millennials, their active social life has been badly hit. It is easy to make light of giving up on parties and socializing, but they have been struggling to cope in terms of their mental health. So the impulse to jump back into life again in 2021 is completely understandable. The prospects are bright, a vaccine is a major win and a great reason to be optimistic. Until COVID-19 is fully behind us, we must continue wearing masks and proper PPE, washing your hands frequently, and practising physical and social distancing as hard as it may be on many levels. It is necessary if we want things to get back to normal. The pandemic has been a big reminder of our mortality. It could motivate some people to take the seize-the-day approach and go wild. But whatever you want to do, it is an opportunity to reflect on what is really important to you and your loved ones.