The COVID-19 outbreak has changed our lives indefinitely, and this shift may be further reaching than we expect or intend. (There are positive impacts too!) The coronavirus pandemic is creating new social norms. It is impacting the way we interact with our neighbors, store clerks, mail carriers and delivery workers.
The social impact of coronavirus will undoubtedly create new ways of interacting in the workplace and in schools. When it’s time for kids to head back to class, and employees to return to the workplace, we will adjust to a new idea of normalcy.
What might the new norm look like?
The pandemic has brought out the best of mankind. Although there are frightening impacts to public health and the economy, daily news reports show us that kindness is alive and well.
New positive social norms look like:
- Young people delivering meals to seniors who can’t leave their homes
- Children using their savings to purchase meals for people in need
- Grocery stores offering special hours for elderly Americans and people with compromised immune systems
- Small businesses helping their communities with free or reduced cost meals and supplies
The COVID-19 outbreak has also taught us to be aware of our surroundings, to be more germ-conscious, and to keep a courteous distance from other people.
These new norms will likely affect the way we interact with our coworkers when we head back to the workplace
Employers can be ready to direct their staff by:
- Posting reminders to wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of infectious disease
- Posting social distancing signs and courtesy desk plates to remind guests and staff to avoid close contact
- Limiting access to public pens (for dental and medical patient sign-in, check signing at banks, etc)
- Providing sanitizing wipes and gels, and making them readily accessible
- Requiring the use of vinyl gloves in food service, spas, nail and hair salons and more
- Limiting crowds in lunch rooms and cafeterias by spreading out break times
- Changing office rules, allowing workers to order takeout and eat at their desks
- Implementing new sick-leave and health security policies to help with disease control. Encouraging symptomatic employees to self-isolate
- Prohibiting visitors to workplaces, (no longer allowing family members or loved ones in company buildings)
Outside of the workplace, people will likely continue to practice social distancing for months, or even years, to come. People with compromised immune systems can remind others to keep a healthy distance by wearing special color-coded ID cards, gloves and masks. They may also limit their exposure to public places, by only going to restaurants and stores during slower hours.
How can you be courteous in the new social distancing world?
- Help prevent the spread of coronavirus and potential future outbreaks. Don’t use common objects, such as pens at sign-in desks and banks. Use your own pen or stamp instead.
- Avoid touching door handles, gas pumps, card readers and other germy surfaces. Wear gloves, use a paper towel, or use hand sanitizer after every contact.
- Be aware of people around you. Smile, wave, say hello and be friendly. Wear a name tag or ID with a larger font so people can read your name from a distance. If we all use courteous social distancing, we can prevent social isolation
- Take signage seriously. Whether it’s a reminder to wash your hands, or to keep a 6-foot distance, be courteous and follow these directions
Once school is back in session, and no longer taught remotely, educators will likely continue to enforce regular hand washing and social distancing between classmates and staff. Parents may limit play dates and other interactions to a handful of children at a time.
The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly changed our lives, and this change may last for a long time. Despite the fear and negativity that grows as new coronavirus cases are confirmed, there are positive impacts as well. People are spending more time with their pets and getting away from their screens. Pollution has reportedly dipped and the display of kindness grows everyday. Once the spread of the virus has plateaued and people go back to work and school, we can all do our part to promote the new norms!
Keep a courteous distance, wash your hands, smile and say hello.
At HC Brands, we pride ourselves on friendly customer service, fast production and shipping times. We’ve been in business since 1954, making quality rubber stamps, signs and business essentials. We are a leader in rubber stamps, custom signs, name tags and IDs and personalized gifts.
Through these trying times, and as people and businesses recover, we are here for you.