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Friday, May 8, 2020

Post-Pandemic Reality and Avoiding Cooties

If I told you last year or even in January that something was going to happen that would have the potential to forever change how we look at things or interact with people, I would hazard a guess you would have called me crazy or wondered if I had fallen, bumped my head and caused some permanent brain damage.

In our current situation of COVID-Craziness, do you think differently?  Have you thought what your or our futures may look like?  Are there traditions that will cease to exist? Are there aspects of what makes our society collegial that will no longer be followed?  This week, I thought I would give you a little nudge to start thinking about what the new norm, post-pandemic will look like and how you may change the way you interact with family, friends and colleagues.  I hope it may also change how you look at the facilities you frequent, from banks and grocery stores, to spas, gyms, schools, and healthcare facilities, both human and animal.

Let’s start with traditions. Knowing what we all know now, will you ever eat a piece of birthday cake that someone has blown the candles from? I’m not going to lie, this has grossed me out for years and depending what I saw during the activity of blowing out the candle, I have been known to politely decline a piece of cake.  Without offending anyone, what about some of the traditions that different religions have? I grew up in a small town, and our church celebrated communion during special times of the year. We were served the grape juice (aka the blood of Christ) in individual glasses, but everyone took turns putting their hands into the basket to pick out a piece of bread.  I have been to other services where everyone drinks from the same goblet and the priest simply wipes the area you drank from with a cloth before the next person takes as sip. How will COVID-19 impact our societal and religious traditions?

What about social interaction and manners? Will we ever go back to shaking hands, opening, and holding doors for others, kissing someone’s cheek or hugging when we greet someone hello (e.g. the reception wedding line), sharing food like popcorn or kissing on the first date?  I know many may think differently.  I may think differently about kissing on the first date or kissing someone’s cheek as I say hello.  There is too great a chance of sharing bodily fluid, which could be laden with all sorts of germs.  The others, well they have something in common.  I can protect myself by not touching my face, washing my hands using soap or hand sanitizer after the interaction and continuing to wash my hands before I eat.  I may refuse to share food, unless I have visual proof that your hands are clean.

Lastly, what about party games? As kid, I remember at fairs, picnics and birthday parties bobbing for apples, playing telephone where you whisper in someone’s ear and this continues down the line until the last person has to say what they were told.  What about the 3-legged race where you are tied to someone, musical chairs or playing twister? Will you ever volunteer to man the kissing booth again? These games are what makes growing up and interacting with family, friends and neighbours fun. What games to we see becoming extinct?  What games will continue, but we may modify them slightly in an effort to minimize getting “cooties”.  Let’s be honest, did you ever think as an adult you would be concerned with getting cooties from someone?

This is just food for thought.  In the coming weeks, I plan to continue our discussion about what life may look like post-pandemic.

Bugging Off!


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