The Pandemic, the Transformation, and the New Normal
The pandemic had a significant negative impact on individuals and societies around the world. The pandemic touched and transformed every aspect of our lives and our societies. Life, family, relationships, and business would not go on as usual. The most common experiences comprise the transition from communal practices to distant practices such as religious meetings on Zoom while family gatherings went from personal interactions to connecting through digital applications such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Skype. Although the stay-at-home-order provided some relationships the opportunity for growth and improvement, it also provided the breeding ground for increased depression, drug and alcohol use, child and spousal abuse and suicides.
The economic and climatic shifts from the Pandemic are dramatic, incredible, and terrifying all at the same time. The pandemic provided avenues for individuals to work from home, which fueled families to migrate to less densely populated cities and rural areas. Likewise, shopping moved from in-person shopping to online ordering driving up demand for contactless delivery. Countless restaurants and businesses closed across the country. Businesses that stayed open confronted a different problem—finding employees to work in the public sector during a global health crisis. The pandemic gave rise to online retailers such as Amazon, and increased demand for drivers for food apps like DoorDash, UberEATS, Postmates—thus, significantly changing the face of how we do business. In the United States, social distancing and health guidelines thrust distant learning and education into the spotlight. For some, the pandemic provided families with the opportunities to be more involved, engaged, and responsible for their children’s education and for others. However, the poor and single-parent families who relied heavily on public schools for tools such as computers, internet structured education and meals for their children, distance learning was detrimental.
On the one hand, the carbon footprint dramatically decreased with noticeable changes in wildlife and marine life—from Italy’s pristine water canals to the improvement in global air quality. While on the other, we witnessed the destabilization of the American and global economies. The Pandemic put the American economy and infrastructure in the global spotlight—increased government spending, millions of Americans without sustainable employment to levels that surpassed the Great Depression coupled with the rise of crippling unemployment claims.
The following story, “Homeless During the Pandemic: a Drive to Nowhere” is another such story that takes place amidst a global historic crisis. It is about the tremendous hardships a person experienced during a time when jobs, resources, and support were unavailable because of the Pandemic.