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One year since Covid, and the new social animal4 min read

November 22, 2020 3 min read


One year since Covid, and the new social animal4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One year since Covid-19? Phew! It seems like just yesterday we were saying goodbye to 2019 and preparing for what the new year has in store for us. Little did we anticipate that we would be living through a pandemic, and that the world as we knew it, would never be the same again.

Around this time last year, the first Chinese patients were exposed to a mutation of the SARS coronavirus in the city of Wuhan. By December 2019, enough people were infected to alert local authorities, and in the weeks to follow, the virus slowly started to spread to other countries. In India, the first coronavirus case was reported on January 30 this year, in Kerala. As cases started to reach other states, we went into a nationwide lockdown, then we lifted the lockdown and some parts of life started to return to a (slighter) sense of normalcy.

Shops, public transport, gyms and restaurants – all of which were closed for months – started to open their doors, and people started to move around more. However, the virus is still very much around. Though we aren’t forced to stay indoors anymore, we’ve had to significantly change a few things about ourselves to adapt to the ‘new normal’. Owliver takes a look.

The digital learner

Passing notes to friends in class, huddling together during lunch break, catching up with all your friends on the bus ride to school – it all seems like a different era! With schools across the world closing, both teachers and students have had to get comfortable with the idea of a ‘remote classroom’. Here walked in the digital learner, who was self-motivated, tech savvy and did not feel the pressure of of competing with peers. He/she had to educate themselves with the latest technology in the field of learning, and will have to keep some things in mind when schools do reopen, such as social distancing in common areas, washing hands and wearing a mask constantly.

The wary eater

When eating out at restaurants wasn’t a reality anymore, trying to recreate your favourite dishes at home became the norm, and thus emerged the wary eater. They learnt to churn up delicacies through digital cooking classes and had the option of getting all kinds of ingredients delivered home. While ordering in was an option, the wary eater was still scared for their safety. Now, though restaurants have opened up, they don’t quite look the same anymore. Tables are farther apart, and menus have gone digital with QR codes and tablets, and a bottle of sanitizer stands prominently next to cutlery and napkins.

The serial hobbyist

When amusement parks, cinema halls, swimming pools and karate classes shut down amid the lockdown, we were forced to pick up a hobby. With friends staying at home, we had to think of new ways of entertaining ourselves, by ourselves. While video games, Netflix and online classes were still options, there was a rise in the number of people picking up ways of keeping one busy. From gardening to art to pottery to cooking, the serial hobbyist did it all.

The health nut

Breathe in….breathe out. The pandemic, of course, shined a big spotlight on health in general, and suddenly, there was a health nut in almost every household. Grandma’s special concoctions, herbal teas, temperature checks and daily vitamins became a norm to keep the health nut’s immunity strong. Companies innovated to include healthy ingredients in ice creams, chocolates and juices. Yoga, meditation and daily exercise were included in the health nut’s day-to-day life to not only keep fit, but also maintain emotional and spiritual wellness.

Till there is a tried-and-tested vaccine ready, humans will have to continue being careful and adjusting to new ways of doing old things. Here’s hoping coronavirus doesn’t see its 2nd birthday!

Reflect with Owliver: What are some of the biggest lessons we have learnt this past year? Think, look back, and let us know!

Photos: Freepik