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The New Normal: A Look at the World Three Years Post-COVID

We're still getting used to the "new normal" three years post-pandemic. Let's take a look at life after COVID, and the effects it continues to have on society.

How COVID-19 Changed the World

Three years have passed since the COVID-19 virus shook the world, and to this day, it has a profound impact on how we live our lives. The lingering effects on our mental and physical health, plus the mandatory masks and vaccine debates that caused even further social and political divide than we had before, created a time of uncertainty and change that sticks with us still.

Nearly every area of our daily lives was and still is affected by the virus, from how we work and interact with others to how we shop and travel. In this article, we will take a closer look at life after COVID-19 and examine how the pandemic has permanently altered our world.

young couple at airport wearing face masks waving to camera

How COVID-19 is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

The ongoing impact of COVID-19 three years down the line is significant and continues to evolve. With new strains continuously popping up, it’s been difficult to maneuver. Scientists and researchers are working to improve our understanding of the virus and its variants in several ways including lab studies, vaccine development, clinical trials, and more.

The virus is always being monitored, and the information gathered is used to inform the public of different protocols and ways to protect ourselves. These variants serve as a reminder that no matter how much time has passed, the virus is still alive and affecting us now.

The pandemic has taken a particularly massive toll on the healthcare industry, overwhelming the system and leading to medical supply and personal protective equipment shortages worldwide. This has put a notable strain on healthcare workers, leading to burnout and post-pandemic stress disorder. It's also resulted in the postponing of non-COVID medical procedures leading to a backlog in care.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of telemedicine and virtual consultations, which have become a mainstay in the healthcare industry. Hospitals and clinics have had to adapt to this new way of delivering care, and many had to invest in new technology and equipment to do so.

A positive aspect of this is that it has become more accessible and simple for patients to attend appointments from the comfort of their homes in life after COVID. This may have never been possible prior to.

Technology makes every workplace more efficient, especially in healthcare. Emerging digital tools help ensure that the patient receives the care they need while also keeping staff and other patients safe and protected from the virus.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the global economy, affecting individuals, businesses, and entire industries in a variety of ways. One of the main economic consequences has been job loss and financial hardship.

Coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns led to widespread closures of non-essential businesses, resulting in millions of people losing their jobs, either for some time or indefinitely. A rise in unemployment and a decline in consumer spending has occurred, which in turn has hurt the economy.

COVID wasn’t picky about which businesses it affected either; companies of all sizes were impacted by the pandemic, with many of them struggling to survive. The lockdowns and social distancing measures have reduced consumer demand and forced many businesses to close their doors permanently. This has led to a decline in economic activity and investments, which has further exacerbated the economic downturn.

Additionally, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the travel and tourism industry. With the aforementioned lockdowns plus travel restrictions in place, the demand for flights, hotels, and other travel-related services dropped significantly, leading to widespread closures and job losses in this industry as well.

Overall, the consequences of the pandemic have been far-reaching and have affected almost every type of industry in one way or another. The economic recovery from the pandemic is expected to take some time and will require a coordinated effort from the people and their governments.

The Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated existing divisions within society. Vaccine debates and mandatory mask debates changed the feeling of unity we have as a collective. It’s unfortunate that in such a dark time, rather than coming together, certain things tore us apart.

Not only did the pandemic have negative effects on society as a whole, but it also took a toll on many individual's mental health, with many people experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

People throughout the world have seen an increase in stress and anxiety during the past three years as a result of the pandemic's uncertainty. It felt practically impossible to attempt to see the bright side of things due to worries about family safety, job loss, and financial instability. The disruptions of regular routines and activities made it even harder as there was no distraction from it; everywhere you turned, you were reminded of COVID-19 and its giant worldwide presence.

Another mental health consequence of the pandemic is an increase in feelings of isolation and loneliness, as people were forced to spend more time alone and away from friends and family. This can be especially challenging for those who were already struggling with mental health issues before.

Self-isolation due to COVID meant that even when you needed to see someone, you physically couldn’t, making those dark days feel just a bit darker. Luckily those times are behind us, but they are not forgotten.

The pandemic also led to an increase in depression. The loss of jobs, businesses, and loved ones, as well as the uncertainty of the future, have all been factors that have contributed to the rise in depression among people globally. This is just one of the coronavirus' after-effects, and hopefully, with more mental health resources and outreach, we can all begin to heal.

Mental health is important at home and in the workplace, and it is the responsibility of managers and supervisors to ensure that their staff’s mental health is a top priority every day. A great way to prioritize your employee's mental health is with Lumiform’s Workplace Mental Health Checklist Template. There are many more health and safety resources that Lumiform offers, and they can be found here.

nurse in PPE suit adjusting face shield

Reflecting on Changes and Growth in Today's World

Three years after the outbreak of COVID-19, the world is still navigating the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Although immunizations and treatments have advanced, the pandemic still has a lasting impact on our society, economy, and mental health. We must continue to support and help each other as we navigate this “new world” and try to find a way back to a sense of normalcy. We have learned that we are stronger together and that by working as a unit, we can overcome more than we can alone.

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