The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we go about our day-to-day life. Gone are the days when we could just enter a shop. Now, you have to do at least 2 things before you even step through the door — register and take your temperature.
The new normal is here to stay, at least until the pandemic is over. And while you probably can’t wait to say goodbye to these trying times, there are probably some habits you want to consider keeping.
#1. Washing your hands routinely
We like to think that even before the pandemic, we all wash our hands frequently. However, some of us may not practise it as often as we should. We’re not accusing you of anything but a 1-second rinse under the tap is not the correct way to wash your hands.
Thankfully, COVID-19 has led us to improve our hygiene. A study reported that the outbreak had caused a 76% increase in hand-washing among Malaysians. People are even telling others to sing while washing their hands to ensure they do it for at least 20 seconds.
This is a good practice, one we should definitely keep up with even after the pandemic passess. It might feel safe when there’s no global virus hanging over the air anymore but the truth is, it’s a dirty world out there. One can never be too careful.
#2. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitiser with you
While not as effective as washing your hands with soap and water, hand sanitisers are still very useful for maintaining good hygiene. They’re great for neutralising microbes, viruses and bacteria and their portability makes it easy to keep hands clean when you’re out and about.
And this habit shouldn’t stop with the pandemic. There’s absolutely no reason to stop using hand sanitisers. Even without the COVID-19 virus, there are plenty of germs out there that can get you sick. Stay ahead of them and keep clean by sticking a bottle of hand sanitiser in your pocket.
#3. Avoiding crowds by going digital
Technology has done wonders for us — but it wasn’t until the pandemic that we truly saw how easy it has made life for us. Need to buy groceries? Just arrange for a drop off. Looking for a job? Head over to the many career fairs online.
Suddenly, you find yourself faced with the question — why bother going out and dealing with commuting and heavy crowds when you can do everything — from shopping to attending fairs — online?
Now, you may find yourself actually missing the people (after months of being forced to stay indoors, we can’t blame you). But for those who still prefer to avoid the crowd of strangers, there’s no reason to stop going digital.
Even after the pandemic is over, we assure you, there will be plenty of online events and digital services you can use. So why not save yourself the hassle? Stay in your PJs, get on your device and go digital.
#4. Masking up when you’re sick
While COVID-19 has made mask-wearing a worldwide custom, it is not a new thing. In Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and China, people have been masking up for a variety of reasons, including for when they get sick.
And this is actually a good practice to keep even after we’ve long said goodbye to COVID-19. Masking up can keep you from sneezing and coughing on other people, becoming a public nuisance and infecting others with your germs and viruses.
Besides, think of all the cool reusable masks you’ve collected during the pandemic. Are you really ready to say goodbye to them? Well, you don’t have to. Consider keeping them around for when the annual flu season hits.
#5. Maintaining a distance when queueing
The pandemic has also introduced the concept of social distancing in public spaces. And you’ll be lying if you said you haven’t loved it so far.
Being able to be in a public space while still maintaining your own private bubble feels great. Not only does it keep people from sneezing and getting their germs all over you (which is obviously already a really good perk), it’s also a breath of fresh air from all the constant sandwiching you’re used to.
Imagine lining up at the ATM and not having to worry about someone tailgating you and peeking in. Or what about that person who has no sense of space when queueing up for food?
As long as we keep practising social distancing, we’re all the better for it.
#6. Quarantining yourself when you’re unwell
It used to be normal to go out and tough it out even when you’re sick. After all, the worst that could happen is you get someone else ill. But the pandemic has caused us to be more cautious. Now, even the slightest sniffle will make you think twice about going out.
And this is something we should continue to observe even when there isn’t a global pandemic. After all, getting someone sick, no matter how simple the illness is, is still bad manners.
If possible, isolate yourself from others when you’re unwell. You don’t have to create a quarantine site. Just keep away from others and avoid going out unless it’s absolutely necessary. This way, you can actually rest and keep your germs to yourself.
Every cloud has a silver lining. While we don’t think any of us would miss the pandemic time that dearly, it did teach us some good habits. And perhaps we should still keep them indefinitely.