On the Other Side of a Crisis: Life After COVID-19
By Julie Jacques
As quarantine continues in Québec and most of North America, life in Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of COVID-19, is slowly starting to resume. Healthy citizens are now allowed to leave their homes after eleven weeks of strict restrictions on movement throughout the province. Residents have a mandatory app from the government on their phone that tracks them in order to confirm they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone who has the virus. Still, health officials warn that they may not yet be out of the woods, stating that citizens should still be careful not to “go out unless it’s necessary.” Citizens are also advised to wear face masks if they do leave their homes in order to prevent further spreading the virus.
This begs the question of what life will be like at the end of all this. Will the world return to its pre-COVID state? This scenario is implausible. Legault has announced that despite nearing the presumed peak of the epidemic, social distancing rules will still be in place for months. Travel restrictions will likely be in place for longer than currently predicted, as well as remote schooling and work. Large-scale gatherings like concerts, festivals and sport’s events have been officially stalled until August 31st. The economy will struggle to get back on its feet, even with governmental intervention.
Stir-crazy citizens will welcome the grand reopening of a city, province, or even country, but it will not necessarily run smoothly. A ‘second-wave’ of the virus may take place and potentially cause a reinforcement of quarantine policies. Non-essential services will become overwhelmed, as many will rush to make up for several months’ of lack of business. It will not be easy for small businesses to recover. There could be an influx of funeral proceedings, and an increase in wait time for elective surgeries and procedures. Many may even have trouble finding appointment times at a hair salon to fix self-inflicted bangs.
Stir-crazy citizens will welcome the grand reopening of a city, province, or even country, but it will not necessarily run smoothly. A ‘second-wave’ of the virus may take place and potentially cause a reinforcement of quarantine policies.
However, the aftermath won’t be all negative. Schools may find that, after some trial and error, many classes can easily be taught online if necessary. The sudden outbreak may potentially allow companies to reconsider how many employees are capable of effectively working from home– helping disabled people, parents, and others who are more suitable for remote working.
In regard to emissions, cities like Beijing and Shanghai have once again been graced with blue skies after mass restrictions on travel and suspensions of factory work. The newly clear air has given many awareness of their impact on their environment.
While many speculate what life will be like on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, the truth is, there is no way to accurately predict how the world will bounce back from these events. The public can only hope that this outbreak serves as a lesson learned and will help spell out pandemic policies for years to come, preventing delayed responses to life-threatening diseases.