We are now into the sixth month of the pandemic. As the usual ‘back to normal’ period approaches at the end of August I wonder just how normal it will be. But aside from the many significant changes to our lifestyle wrought by COVID-19, there are some lessons that we can take away.
Hospital Emergency Rooms Are For Emergencies.
In June, as people, observing strict regulations were allowed to gather outside once again I met up with a friend who is a pediatric nurse in the emergency room of a large Montreal hospital. I ask him how the pandemic was affecting his work-life, thinking he must be run off his feet. Instead, he told me that things in the children’s’ emergency room were slower than ever. Whereas during an average (i.e. pre-COVID) shift they might see 275 to 300 cases, during confinement it was more like 60 to 75.
Where adult emergency rooms were inundated with sick people, thankfully children were not hit as hard by the virus. With people being leery about going to a hospital in the midst of a pandemic, it seems many ‘emergencies’ were really not that bad after all. Evidently, one lesson learned, and hopefully retained is that hospital emergency rooms are for … well … emergencies.
Do We Really Have To Go To Work?
Certainly, we need to work, to keep the economy flowing, to put bread on the table, and so on. But do we all need to go to work? We have also learned that many people can carry out their work from home just fine thank you. Will we see a plethora of empty office buildings in the near future?
Are real estate agents preparing for this? Will part of the new normal include working from home whenever possible? What will we do with those big shiny buildings? Will suit manufacturers still make pants? Workplace harassment incidents will drop drastically in number. Sleep patterns will improve if no commute is required; those extra few hours asleep will benefit health.
Yes We Need Live Fans For Sports
Understandably major sports leagues are itching to get back to some sort of play. It’s all about money of course. Some are doing better than others: MLB has not been terribly successful so far, with several COVID outbreaks. The NHL, with is two city bubble seems to be doing much better. But, regardless of what sport, all games, races, competitions are taking place in empty stadiums. Needless to say, this is a must. But it sure does alter the viewing experience.
This is another thing the NHL is handling well, by completely covering the empty seats with banners of some sort. The rows of empty seats in ballparks are just plain sad. And please, no fake fans, mannequins, dummies. Not even Teddy Bears, please.
Yes We Need Live Audiences For Late-Night Talk Shows
Of all the failures during this period of adapting, the most significant for me is watching talk show hosts presenting nightly monologues to an empty room. The lack of laughter has a negative effect even on good jokes. I appreciate the attempt, and can only imagine how difficult it must be for the hosts, but for this viewer, it just isn’t working.
Thankfully the master of the late-night talk show monologue, Johnny Carson, was spared this – but I bet he could have handled it!