Nearly nine months after COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were first introduced around the world, the arrival of potentially successful vaccines has fueled talk of a return to some form of normality.
While not everyone is fully on board with the vaccines at this time, many are predicting their arrival could allow us to return to doing many of the things we’ve had to live without for most of 2020.
Throughout history, the delivery of vaccines have had a major impact on people’s lives. Prior to 1963, for example, before the measles vaccine was developed, more than 500,000 Americans contracted the infectious disease per year, causing 48,000 hospitalizations and around 500 deaths. After the vaccine was introduced as a regular infant immunization in 1963, the instances of the disease dropped rapidly to less than 60 cases per year.
In 1966, a global smallpox campaign was initiated by the World Health Organization. At the time, there were an estimated 10-15 million documented smallpox cases resulting in as many as 2 million deaths each year. By 1978, smallpox had been all but eradicated around the planet.1
In with the new?
Whether or not the new vaccines are successful in countering the pandemic, not everything is expected to return to how it was before.
For example, while many expect workers to begin flocking back to offices once it’s safe to do so, a recent survey by Gartner revealed that 82 percent of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time.2
So, as talk turns to a world after COVID-19, now is a good time to consider whether you want to return to doing things the way you used to or to continue to do them in new ways – across a variety of areas in your life.
Office life: Almost half (48 percent) of US employees surveyed by communications consultancy the Grossman Group say they want to continue working from home after the pandemic.3 However, for many other people, the prospect of once again interacting with colleagues in an office environment is more appealing. Think about the balance you would like between home and office working – and consider approaching your employer to find out what’s possible.
Fitness: Global fitness brand Mr Franklin says its digital fitness platform saw a 900 percent increase in global sign-ups during lockdown as people turned to home workout sessions.4 While many people will be keen to get straight back in the gym in 2021, others will be happier with the new routines they have found. Think about what best suits you for your post-COVID workouts. Keeping to your lockdown routine could save you the cost of a gym membership and time spent traveling to your workout.
Healthy eating: For many people, the lockdown period forced them to improve their home cooking skills, as access to favorite restaurants and take-outs was taken away for long periods. In many cases, people have also turned to healthier eating as a way to counter a lack of exercise. To retain some of those good habits post-COVID, consider making a weekly eating plan that gives you a good balance between the meals that make you feel better and those indulgent take-outs we sometimes deserve as a treat. Such a plan can ensure a healthier wallet as well as a healthier diet.
– sparking a rise in the use of wellbeing apps. Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app, saw a 90 percent increase in mobile access in the US during the first week of March, when restrictions on movement were first introduced.5 Consider how you can stay on top of your wellbeing as we enter another period of potential change – and think about making a plan to ensure you set aside time for mental wellbeing activities.
Financial planning: The pandemic also had a huge impact on many people’s finances
and, as we move forward to another period of change, think about revisiting your financial plans to make sure they are fit for the new world – and for any new plans you might have made during lockdown.
COVID-19 has forced many people to make considerable lifestyle changes. While some of those have been forced upon us, others have been choices we may wish to retain as we potentially move back towards normality.
Reviewing your approach to these, and making sure you have the finances and the security of life insurance in place will also give you the peace of mind and security to move forward with confidence.
1 CDC: Vaccines Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives.” USA Today. Published April 24, 2013. Web.
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