For over a year we stayed very close to home, working online, shopping online, cooking at home, and generally avoiding people. We snuck into grocery stores like we were executing a military attack and retreated quickly. Unlike so many essential workers, we were lucky and alone.
Then we got vaccinated.
Now we are starting to venture out like people coming out after a big storm, looking around to see the damage. A lot has stayed the same post-pandemic, but other things have been irretrievably altered. Some stores and restaurants are gone, some seen like they just like we had been in them yesterday instead of a year ago. Some people are gone.
Our habits changed a lot in the last year. Our first instinct is now always to buy it online. The idea of wandering around a big box in the hopes of finding something seemed like a habit from a previous century. But the online world is also much more isolated. We missed the activity and energy of being out on the streets.
I believe a new blend of habits will emerge in the coming years. People will still shop online more, eat more takeout and spend more time in close groups. But I think they will also selectively do things in person just for the personal contact, for that energy of being on the move even if they don’t have to.
A new world will evolve, and 2020 will be the borderline, the pandemic an event that everything will be judged by – was it ‘before’ or ‘after’? New businesses will be born. New customs adopted. New relationships formed. I look forward to seeing it.