Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of wondering really; society is slowly starting to go back to a sense of normalcy, stores are slowly opening back up to some degree, states across the nation are loosening up their social distancing regulations- but what does that mean for the future? 

 Will things go back to the way things were when we didn’t care where we were and who we were with or are we going to adapt to some of the things we are currently doing as we practice social distancing guidelines. See, over the past few months since this whole ordeal began, I have noticed that I have been more conscience about several different things in my daily life. Things that I wouldn’t have given a second thought to before. 

I try not to go out unless I have to- like going to the grocery store or the bank- though every once in a while, I cave in and go to the park or the drive thru for an unhealthy but nonetheless delicious bite to eat. But before I leave the house, I make sure I have 5 things: my phone, wallet, keys, hand sanitizer and face mask. I recite this list pretty religiously since I tend to be forgetful and more often than not forget one or more things on my mental list.  

My girlfriend actually got me in the habit of reciting this list but at first it was just my phone, wallet and keys since those are the main three I needed if I was going out for anything. Then when the pandemic broke out, I added the other two items shortly after. While it wasn’t that big of an issue to remember to bring two more things, I would have never thought to remember to bring hand sanitizer. It was one of those things that you just conveniently had in your car or as an accessory to your key ring and if you didn’t have any, no worries it wasn’t gonna kill you.  

Now I beg to differ. 

You would only see face masks at the doctor’s office or the occasional reminder to wear one if you were having a cough, cold or flu. Now they are pretty commonplace everywhere you go. They are a little uncomfortable to wear at first, especially if you have glasses but then you just accept it and move on. Heck they have gotten so fancy and cute looking that they have turned into a fashion statement. Crazy world we live in today am I right? 

Nowadays I am definitely more aware of my surroundings; where I am, who’s around me and who I have come in contact with or what I came in contact with. Not to be creepy but you just don’t know anymore who could potentially have the coronavirus or who could be displaying symptoms and is out in public. 

It would be crazy to say that we aren’t all a little on edge or paranoid when we are out in public. When this whole thing started I would get a mild but unsettling anxiety attack and my brain would run around in circles thinking “what if he or she has it now I have it” of course once I got a grip this would subside and now I don’t get them anymore but I’m still on my toes.  

Let’s close our eyes for a second and think: If the coronavirus were gone what would society do? Would we continue to wear face masks and carry hand sanitizer like we carry our phone, or would we go back to our old ways and live life like it was before this pandemic started? 

In my opinion, I believe that facemasks and hand sanitizer have become the new norm, at least for a while as this situation blows over. Social distancing will continue to be a thing, but eventually it’ll go away and we can go out and do things like we did before. I do think that people will continue to be cautious about their surroundings and the people they are with. Personally, I know that I will be self-conscience about my surroundings not just for now but probably for the rest of my life.