I suspect that after this last weekend, most of Melbourne may have finally caught a small glimpse of pre-pandemic freedom and caught up with some close family or friends, and not really spared a thought about their post-COVID life.
For while to many it may seem they could possibly get a post-COVID life that could be, as similar as possible to their pre-COVID existence, life unfortunately for many millions of people, and thousands in Australia too, will have changed forever.
For much like the Australian tragedies of the bushfires, COVID-19 seems to have swept up all recent history in its wake and created a life of ‘before pandemic’ and ‘after pandemic’. And while I have a firm belief in the ‘gift of self-isolation’ there is also an even stronger one when it comes to imagining the ‘post-COVID’ life – because like all true life experience, we should be able to say ‘we grew from’ the COVID-19 experience and not just freaked out, watching news report, after news report.
So in the spirit that we should be able to say we grew from the COVID-19 experience, I propose that we look at how we might attempt to change the new world, we are entering, as we come out of isolation. And in the spirit of finding new change a wonderful thing, here is our top five things to reconsider in our post-COVID life:
1. Ease into the new post-COVID existence
After the harsh (and some would say brutal) stage-four lockdown that Victoria has seen, it is no surprise that you might be more than wary of going out into society. While we would not recommend rushing going out into the community again, we suggest easing into the change and if you feel public places are still a bit of a risk, wear a facemask in public and ease into community spaces at your own speed. Believe or not – there is no rush.
2. Question some of your old ‘belief systems’
Everyone has a few old ideas the pandemic may have challenged. Be it pandemic truths, medical knowledge, scientific research – the truth is the pandemic has placed the spotlight firmly on medical and scientific research being at the centre of responsible policy from government, and due to this - many people may see things in a different light now.
3. Become a rebel with a cause
Unfortunately COVID-19 is only one of several global crises the world seems to be experiencing at the moment. The Climate crisis is another global priority requiring urgent attention and after the rapid response in many countries to remedy COVID-19 there can be no doubt, that with enough political pressure massive change can occur rapidly. We would humbly suggest that if you are a supporter of change, you should get behind it.
4. Accept now COVID-19 may be around for a long time
Much like the ‘flu’, which has been around for millennia, COVID-19 may be around for years or decades to come and COVID-19 is unlikely to ever be eradicated, and like the flu, may require an annual vaccine like the flu, at best.
5. Accept some things really aren’t going to go back to ‘normal’
While some things, like shops, cafes and restaurants might go back to normal trading, other things like the Jobkeeper allowance, job losses and the follow-on recession, will have undoubtedly changed things forever. There are aspects about this pandemic that we have to acknowledge that our ‘old normal’ is gone now, replaced by a ‘new normal’ which we all need to adapt too.
Essentially, while it may seem a huge change and adjustment, the truth is having got through the worse of the self-isolation days, and the gradual ‘normalising’ of social gatherings and pubs and restaurants reopening, we should pat ourselves on the back for getting this far, and for largely survived the pandemic without huge amounts of tragedy, and remaining grateful for simply being able to live another day and continue to live a happy life.