by Rob Werner
Many changes for individuals, families, businesses and government agencies from sheltering in place and actions to fight the virus will become permanent. Some are improvements and lifestyle changes; others compel sluggish people and institutions to utilize technology.
Kids were home alone (without friends) but this wasn’t new. The first gaming generation are adults. Kids play games from home with people around the world. Some complain the most exercise they get is with their fingers – texting. The more athletic have video exercises and dancing – performances that generate plenty of action. Expect these interactive programs to expand to include portrayal of friends.
Many older folks aren’t that different. At social functions they’re immersed in electronic devices. We had a dinner appointment. Rather than cancelling it, we had dinner together in our separate homes talking and viewing each other on Facetime. Facetime is or will be accessible on big screen smart TVs.
Many will use meal deliveries from favorite restaurants. We’ll be comfortable with virtual tours of museums and tourist destinations. We’ll take advantage of online services – ordering groceries for pickup or delivery. Banking will be done primarily online. Branches will close due to efficiency. The need for our subsidized postal service will disappear as we receive bills via email and pay online.
Churches and organizations will congregate online via virtual reality programs that give a view of the presenters and those present with their faces portrayed in the screen’s hall as if they were physically present. Attendees will be able to communicate with each other and make contributions.
More college classes will be taught online. Students will submit online questions. Physical classrooms will be shared, eliminating the need for building bonds. Online professors will teach more classes and less teachers will be needed. With pressure savings will be passed to students and tuition reduced.
For grade schools we’ll realized that home school providers, charter and choice schools were best prepared. Public schools were compelled to catchup. School choice will be advocated as the preferred primary system and when in place, school bonds will disappear.
Businesses will discover that more services can be provided from employees’ homes. Office space requirements and overhead will be reduced.
It will be recognized that government institutions often closed because they could provide a salary without providing real service. Maybe this was a union thing. But even before the virus, institutions had the means to function without ceasing performance. Courts already had court appearances via phone calls and electronic filings. Many parties will agree to have trials via video conferences. With a bit of ingenuity government services provided via the DMV, Planning Department and others will primarily be performed online.
Medical appointments will often occur without a virtual doctor visit and tests will be ordered without wasted visits.
We’ll have some new inventions such as hair coloring and barbering programs provided by something that looks like the old helmet hairdryer- or long grey stringy hair will be the fashion trend.
The U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) will be recognized as a political sham that damaged the fight against the virus and demands will be made to abandon or reform the U.N.
Despite the virus’s damage, Americans, being an enterprising people, welcomed innovation and made the best of their circumstances.