As we slowly reboot from the great coma, what will this new world that we are slowly emerging into be like? The virus is aptly named the novel coronavirus and it has been uncompromising in its power to dictate the direction of our lives. Despite all our brilliant modeling experts, we have been outwitted and there has been no predicting its grip. It has proved to be one of the biggest disruptors of our era, bringing disorder and chaos in its wake, on a global scale.
We will reorient ourselves in the new normal and we will find a way to bring order to the disorder to cohabitate with the virus. After all the sourdough bread baking, the quaranstreaming, and the quarantinis, we will find a way forward, however, until we get the therapeutics and the vaccine, we will have to maneuver this bumpy transition time. No amount of “happy talk” will get us to this post-coronavirus era, only the truth, science and research. Unfortunately, we cannot bake, sew or garden our way out of this pandemic as it will require our collective endurance and grace. For now, we can only imagine awakening to a post coronavirus era, and by comparison it will feel like we have our superpowers!
And what will the future hold? Futurists predict there will be an escape from densely populated cities, heading to the beyond the suburbs to the “exurbs.” Travel will be forever changed too. Airports will employ new technologies, including biometric screenings and you will book flights according to how risk averse you are. We will Zoom our way into the future and business travel will become far less frequent while hotels will reinvent their sanitation protocols.
Companies will need to get creative to attract customers back in the stores by demonstrating they are taking all the proper precautions to avoid contagions. For example, Panera Bread has employed geofencing for its curbside pickup, which signals that car has arrived in their parking space for their takeout. While customers are waiting in the parking lot, Panera provides free Wi-Fi in the parking lot. Where feasible, other businesses will also move their operations outside. Studies have shown there is less risk of infection with appropriate distancing in outdoor environments versus indoor environments and this will be a game changer for restaurants, concert venues and fitness centers. Our dinner parties of the future will be in driveways, cul-de-sacs, backyards and in nearby parks. It will still involve spatial distancing, but certainly not social distancing!
Tourism will See Big Changes
The tourism industry will change too. Our outdoor business, TourFreely, offers customers fun and education without fear of catching the virus in contrast to gathering with others on a group tour. There is no better time to take TourFreely’s GPS audio tour at a time where everyone is itching to get out in the fresh air, enjoy nature and have an activity you can do alone or in a small group with physical distancing. A GPS audio tour is the perfect mini adventure where you can plug your headset into your phone and meander along while minimizing your risk of infection! Catching the La Jolla tour on VoiceMap is quite spectacular with the warmer weather right now as you walk along the coast, smell the ocean breezes at La Jolla Cove, and take in some interesting historical fun facts about La Jolla’s glorious history…and it’s only $4.99! And very soon, we will also have a GPS audio tour of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip!
While travel will change, cocooning at home will not end and now that we have learned how to cultivate our gardens and bake our own bread, this trend toward self-sufficiency and being home bodies will continue. Even though we have adapted to a cooped up life, we are social creatures so we will find ways to compensate for loss of community and it will spawn new occupations and new recreational activities to compensate for the loss. It’s hard to say how and what form that it will take, but it’s coming!
These strange times have taught us about sacrifice, patience and resilience. We have practiced coping skills while in isolation and, as we gradually get some relief from the virus, our fears may linger after the containment. Consequently, we now know that self-care has been elevated in importance and we have a greater awareness and respect for managing our mental and emotional wellness and I have hope that we’ll recover San Diego strong!