New normal, how to implement?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - May 25, 2020 - 12:00am

The new normal. This is what we often hear nowadays as the end of the MECQ approaches. Other parts of the country are already in a more relaxed General Community Quarantine so the new normal is supposed to be in action. We cannot return to the normal life we know of without the availability of a vaccine or a true anti-COVID-19 drug, not all these "possible drugs" that are cropping up. We have yet to know everything about SARS-CoV-2 so the development of a viable vaccine will surely be delayed. Fortunately our knowledge of both SARS and MERS is contributing in the help to fight the new coronavirus.

But how do we implement the new normal in our daily lives? Take for example public transportation that has not yet been allowed. Images of plastic dividers inside of jeepneys have come up. But can the same system be used on public buses? Operators, however, insist that if the number of passengers is halved or less per trip, then they might not even make a profit. The airlines are saying the same thing. If the number of passengers per flight is only half the capacity of the aircraft due to physical distancing, it may no longer be profitable. The price of oil is already in the rebound. We have increases in the price of gasoline and diesel every week. And is traveling in the minds of people today?

Stores will still implement a minimum number of customers inside, so lines will be forming outside. That's possible if you have the space for it. But what about doctors holding clinics? How do you schedule patients? Will they wait outside? With physical distancing, that may not be possible. Doctors may be instructed to hold clinics on certain days only. Hospitals are currently studying what the safest method is. Businesses are also shifting products. Many are moving towards the digital platform and selling products and services online. Some have outright changed or added their products. A well-known brand now sells PPEs. Many have moved on to selling food.

But the new normal also has bad effects. First of all, the economy will not completely recover from more than two-months of quarantine. Estimated foresee a recovery in 2021. Second, many will lose their jobs because not all businesses will be able to resume operations due to large losses. Many businesses are deemed non-essential today. Gyms, spas, parlors, barbershops are not yet allowed to open because physical distancing is not possible. How can a masseuse do physical distancing? The new normal will most definitely be a wok in progress. We can only hope that anyone invested in producing a vaccine against COVID-19 comes up with one soon.

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