Adjusting to new everyday routines has become an unfortunate global reality. As the effects of the Coronavirus continue to worsen, it allows one to question, “When will everything go back to normal”? Upon the consequences of the global pandemic, the “normal” that we all once knew no longer exists. The aftermath, if and once this is all over will force citizens to adjust to a new “normal”. But when will we be able to work at an actual office instead of working from home? When will we be able to dine-in rather than dine-out? When will we be able to attend mass gatherings, concerts, and sporting events? For now, the answer remains unknown, but the earliest won’t be until Fall 2021.
In a recent feature in The New York Times, a panel of five different health experts discussed (virtually) when and how we will go back to our old everyday life, one that we miss and continue to mourn. One of the panelists, bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests his prediction to when he thinks people will be able to attend mass gatherings such as concerts and sporting events, as well as casual environment such as the workplace and restaurants.
Here's what Emanuel had to say:
“Yes, restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest”
“Restaurants where you can space tables out, maybe sooner. In Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, we’re seeing resurgences when they open up and allow more activity. It’s going to be this roller coaster, up and down. The question is: When it goes up, can we do better testing and contact tracing so that we can focus on particular people and isolate them and not have to reimpose shelter-in-place for everyone as we did before?”
Emanuel’s response sparked an outrage on social media. With many users voicing their concern and disappointment. One of the specific events Emmanuel hinted on was Coachella, the largest music festival in America that was originally scheduled to kickoff on April 10, and was recently postponed until October of this year. Many festivals followed suit including Bonnaroo and III Points, while major ones such as the 50th Anniversary of Glastonbury have been cancelled.
For sporting events, President Donald Trump suggested that he hopes to have fans back in arenas and stadiums by August. Just last month fans witnessed the cancellation of the NBA season, while WWE held Wrestlemania, “the grandest stage of them all” with no fans in attendance. In regards to the fashion and film industry, Cannes Film Festival, and the Met Gala have been postponed indefinitely.
Such news is extremely disappointing, but for now we just have to continue to count down the days, and wait and see how this all plays out. Make sure to do your part by continuing to practice social distancing, staying inside, and staying safe!