The Sticky Files.

Getting used to the new normal

Hoping some pandemic attitudes go away while others stick around

The COVID-19 health crisis has caused so many problems and headaches across the world and most people are eager to put this pandemic behind us.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted this virus and how bad it would get.

(Okay, maybe some conspiracy theorists or disease specialists, or maybe the writers of Cotangent, but I don’t think the average person saw this coming.)

Besides the actual sickness, deaths and strain on the healthcare system, this pandemic has changed a lot of things. It has changed how we look at each other and at different aspects of life.

I’ve really hated how it has made us anti-social. We used to stop and chat more often when we bumped into someone we knew on the street. Now when we see anyone we go to the other side of the road. I’m a little on the shorter side and if I’m struggling to reach something in the grocery store, someone used to always offer to help.

That doesn’t happen anymore. Everyone stays apart. And sometimes if I was about to take my grocery cart back to the store, someone would offer to take it for me so I didn’t have to carry two kids back and forth through a parking lot. That also does not happen anymore.

Everyone is so scared of germs. Rightfully so, but it means a lot less helping out a stranger.

READ MORE FROM THE STICKY FILES: Now is not the time for a federal election

However, there are some things I’d like to stick around post-pandemic.

I appreciate that grocery carts are cleaned regularly. One American study, from before the pandemic, found that 50 per cent of carts that were randomly tested carried E. coli, and 72 per cent contained coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria is mainly found in the intestinal tract of humans and other animals.

Another study stressed that shopping cart handles are one of the most contaminated public surfaces, even dirtier than most public restrooms. This is mainly because washrooms are cleaned more often.

That is so gross.

We put our babies in the cart and food that will be consumed in there.

The extra sanitizing is welcome.

Another thing I’d like to see stick around after the coronavirus is behind us, is staying home when we are sick.

Before COVID, how often we would go into work or send our kids to school with a slight sniffle?

I know I’ve gone into work with a cold because I didn’t want to get behind or have my co-workers view me as weak. Now, we stay home when we are feeling even slightly under the weather. This means we aren’t passing around the common cold or seasonal flu.

Most people’s homes have become their safe places. I hope after the pandemic, we can still appreciate our homes and close bubble of family and not take them for granted.

I also hope for those that found their homes not to be safe, to have changed some things or reached out for help.

Everyone deserves a safe haven.


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