How Will You React To The End Of The Pandemic?

“The pandemic is over.” Those are words that most of the world is eager to hear. 

Ask yourself a question, though.  How will you respond when it’s truly over?  Are you ready for it?  Will things return to the way they were?

I’m not afraid to say that I have a bit of post-pandemic anxiety. I think many of you are feeling the same way, but it hasn’t crystallized yet for you. 

Think about it.  When will your first business trip take place?  Will you shake hands with everyone like you used to?  Where will you go for lunch when you get back to the office?  Will you eat in the restaurant, or will you be trained in a Pavlovian fashion to sit outside? 

Will you go back to working out in the morning or evening rather than taking a quick run at lunch?  Are you ready for the commute?  What about your use of media?  Will you still be up to date on your podcasts?  Are you going to stay on video calls, or will you revert back to the phone more often?



There have been so many silver linings to this year, and some of them I’m not ready to give up.  I’ve spent so much wonderful time with my family.  I’m going to miss that if business travel starts back again.  And even for local events, will people be open to attending in person and chatting with someone new? 

Anxiety stems from the unknown, and the future is always unknown.  The reality of a post-pandemic world is that things will never be like they were, but they certainly won’t be like they are now.

Masks will almost certainly be a part of life, but not all the time.  They will be in use every winter when flu season picks back up.  Video calls will be the norm, as only essential business travel will come back quickly, but I anticipate personal travel to skyrocket by the beginning of next spring. 

Business casual has taken on a new meaning these last 12 months.  I’m going to have get some shoes shined and try on my khaki pants collection.  Hopefully they still fit! 

Also, and I hate to say it, but this is not the last pandemic we will experience in our lifetime.  There will be another one in the next 20 to 30 years.  The world is changing rapidly, and we have to adapt to it.  It is not the other way around. 

I do think compassion and acceptance are going to be the hallmark of the next 12-18 months.  The world has been “humanized” this last year.  People are starting to recognize other human beings again and not just lump them into large buckets of categorized data.  This is even true on an algorithmic level, as the entire ad and marketing tech landscape is starting to shift away from one-to-one targeting and back to some combination of contextual and “group” targeting.  On a micro and macro level, things are going to be different -- and hopefully, better.

So when those words are officially uttered, take a breath and realize that not everyone will be ready to hear them.  You can plan for the future only so far.  The rest is all a spur-of-the-moment reaction.

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