I’m an avid trend-watcher and enjoy tracking how new phrases and products end up permanently woven into our daily lives.
For example, only a few months ago, a mention of flattening the curve or social distancing would cause most folks to shrug their shoulders. Now, both phrases have become rallying cries echoed around the world. But hey, those are the easy trends to spot.
This week, I’ve set a personal challenge to predict which trends and changes we’ll be embracing long after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
So, gather ‘round and join me as I gaze into my imaginary crystal ball. Let’s conjure up a short list of post-pandemic predictions.
Screen time gets informal and medical
Due to social distancing mandates, we’ve grown used to seeing TV news anchors reporting from their homes, along with the occasional child or pet scampering by. This leads the way for all of us to become more familiar with the technology that’s already in our hands. We learn to Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype with family and friends, doing it often and at all hours. The relationships we’ve strengthened banish any past apprehensions about not looking good enough for the camera or having anything to say.
In addition, telemedicine grows to include ALS patients. Across the nation, ALS patients and their caregivers enjoy the benefits of increased access to their ALS clinic staff through scheduled ALS Teleclinics.
Hand sanitizers get handy
Before the pandemic, many of us tucked mini bottles of hand sanitizer in pockets, purses, and deep in our car’s many nooks and crannies. In post-pandemic times, hand sanitizer will be visible everywhere! Bottles will grace the middle of restaurant tables. They will hang from our belt loops, and cars will be outfitted with special dashboard hand gel bottle holders.
We’ll even have designer bottles, quilted holders, special aromas, and the gel will come in a rainbow of colors.
A personal bottle of hand gel will replace bottled water as the next new cool item to carry.
Smiling in public finally returns
Facial masks will continue to be worn long after the crisis is over.
Even though our masks are fashioned out of brightly colored material, they still create, well, a blank face. Since humans enjoy and respond to facial expression, innovations abound. One uses Velcro to attach a choice of smiley emoticons onto our mask, letting the world know how we’re really feeling that day. But the introduction of the truly transparent mask wins Invention of the Year. (This new transparent mask also prompts a welcomed spike in lipstick sales!)
Counseling gains a new diagnostic code
Sadly, one particular pandemic-related behavior continues to exist, despite replenished stockpiles, adequate inventories, and a return to low prices: Hoarding toilet paper lives on!
Mental health experts establish “TP Hoarders Anonymous.” Support groups are formed and families hold interventions. In response, hoarders conduct podcasts, write blogs, and hold their first national convention.
One final prediction
In the end, we know that this too will pass. We’ll come through it and have the pandemic in our rearview mirror, which is all the more reason to keep looking forward, thinking positively, and holding onto our sense of humor!
Together, we can survive the COVID-19 crisis and live well while living with ALS.
Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.
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