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Are You Ready For The New Normal?

As the levels of lockdown continue to fall and the spread of the virus finally begins to speed up in South Africa we have had to embrace new things as normal. It is now normal to have a stranger spray your hands with something at the entrance to their shop. In the past, if you saw a group of people wearing masks walking into a shop you would have feared a robbery. Now you are one of those people.

Even the way we regularly communicate has shifted again. We have all learned the value of having enough data to contact family and friends via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp video or Google hangouts. Many of us have learnt to work from home while the kids run around screaming in the background and the cat tries to walk on your keyboard. It’s a brave new world. Your boss may never want you to come back to the office and take up expensive floor space (if you play your cards right).

At first, half of us were too petrified to go anywhere or talk to anyone in case we got infected with the virus that seemed to be everywhere and on everything around us. For others, it was simply not even factored in as they went about their lives just ignoring it breaking every lockdown law without even realising it.

Over time, however, it has come to dominate our every day as lockdown came into effect and disrupted our usual routines. And the novelty wore off quickly. More so for smokers and drinkers who found themselves cut off from their usual supply and started to get a bit cranky.

Having the kids home 24/7 also soon began to pale somewhat as those lovely angels slowly became tiny little demanding terrors who are always around demanding our time and energy. The mandatory nap time became the solace of parents across the country.

OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW?

Pandemic has an interesting way of pushing the “fast forward” button on transformation. Whereas before small changes would have taken years to debate, investigate and issue impact reports…now many massive changes are being done in a week or two.

Shares in Zoom (conferencing software) went up 250% as the company took on hundreds of millions of new clients in just weeks. Suddenly, people who never even used Skype or WhatsApp video calls have been forced by circumstance to get online to work and socialise. The world will never be the same. In one day you can chat to people in Australia, clients in the USA, colleagues in Cape Town and Durban and maybe even your mom somewhere in between.

Conferences will change, workplace meetings will change, even office space rentals will change as firms realise that they can have staff work from home or even overseas. Why drive around so much and use so much petrol when the world can come to you.

As this happens markets will shift: Why have a laptop rather than a desktop computer if you will work from a home office anyway? You will need fibre and suddenly 5G starts to sound pretty good as all your entertainment begins to come at you through the internet. You may even realise that maybe you would actually be willing to pay top access services you never did in the past.

The demand for cheaper and widely available data will increase as everyone tries to get online. Those who don’t will get left behind. Even now people who go from door to door asking for work are hard-pressed to compete with someone who can send their CV via email or WhatsApp.

Think of this situation magnified. This is the new normal. We are being dragged into a brave new digital age and even your granny is being dragged along with you. Wait till she sends you her first meme.

If you thought that the pandemic would last for a few weeks and that lockdown would kill of the spread of the infections then sadly you are in for a rude awakening. Some experts are saying that a viable treatment could easily take till 2021 to roll out across the globe. And that is not to say this would be a cure, only a treatment.

Efforts in this department are more widespread than ever though. There has, in the past, never been a significant financial incentive to develop a vaccine for any previous coronaviruses (like SARS). This may be why one was never found for any of the other coronaviruses. Let’s hope they find one soon.

Either way, it is clear that the threat of Covid-19 is here to stay. So, get used to wearing a mask and washing your hands like 2002’s hit TV show character Monk. This is the new normal. As we are forced to fear each other and avoid each other we are all going to become more insular and isolated. This will change the way we think. We should expect depression and loneliness to become more rampant. And as people are becoming more insular, we too should
expect countries and political groups to follow suit.

The “new” normal may sadly resemble the old normal in many ways except perhaps in a mask but changes are coming. They cannot be avoided. Those who adapt the fastest will be the best equipped to earn a living and cope with the coming stresses that a global pandemic naturally creates.

Remember that things are tough at the moment for everyone, you are not in this alone.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If the financial burdens of the new normal are taking it’s a toll on your mental health speak to someone for advice sooner rather than later.  Our staff are trained and ready to advise you on the best course of action.  Contact us now on 0861 487 487 or contact us using our website form.

Content sourced from: https://debtfreedigi.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Debtfree-Magazine-May-2020.pdf

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