Now What? 5 Practical Tips For Adjusting To The New Normal

With most cities placed under general community quarantine, more and more individuals can go out for work and essential services. In fact, several malls and stores are now able to operate. With that said, adjusting to the new normal is a must.

COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. The most vulnerable sector can’t go out, most of us are now working remotely, and parents are home-schooling their children. These changes are jarring. However, we need to remember that these changes are needed to protect ourselves and our families.

For this reason, we need to cope and make a few sacrifices. We’ve listed a few tips that you must keep in mind as you step out of lockdown.

But First, What Is General Community Quarantine?

When a city is under general community quarantine or GCQ, its people are allowed to move around – either for work or essential services.

The Philippine National Police created this simple infographic to compare the difference between ECQ and GCQ:

Cities under GCQ shall also observe the following:

  • Minors, senior citizens, pregnant women, and other high health risk individuals are still not allowed to go out.
  • Shops and malls are allowed to partially open
  • Malls, shops, and businesses are required to do a temperature check
  • Everyone is required to wear a mask when going out
  • Higher education institutions can resume their classes
  • Priority and essential construction projects are resumed
  • Public transportation is resumed at a reduced capacity
  • There’s still a curfew for non-workers

5 Practical Tips For Adjusting To The New Normal

Don’t Immediately Go Out To Meet Family Or Friends

Most of us are looking forward to having the lockdown lifted. You’re probably planning to meet with family and friends. Or maybe you’re planning to visit your nearest mall or bookstore.

As we slowly transition to the new normal, we need to take necessary precautions. Why? Just because the city is under general community quarantine doesn’t mean that the threat of contracting COVID-19 is gone. Remember, there’s still no vaccine or medicine against this virus.

With that said, don’t immediately go out and meet your friends. Avoid partying or chilling at a café. Visiting crowded places like cafes and clubs will put you at a higher risk of getting infected.

For this reason, it’s better to stay home. Only go out when it’s necessary like grocery shopping or buying medicine.

Observe Respiratory And Hand Hygiene At All Times

Adjusting to the new normal requires observation of proper hygiene at all times. Avoid coughing or sneezing in public. Always cover your mouth with a tissue or sneeze in your folded arm.

Most importantly, you must also observe hand hygiene. One of the most effective coronavirus prevention methods is proper handwashing. Wash your hands with soap and water. This will wash away germs and bacteria that can cause illnesses.

If you’re outside and don’t have access to soap and water, always keep a sanitizer on hand. The sanitizer must have at least 60% alcohol.

Don’t forget to sanitize your high-touch items like phone, keys, and glasses!

Find Ways To Improve Remote Work

Although cities have moved to GCQ, more and more offices are considering working remotely. There’s a high possibility that remote work will be more widespread. Therefore, adjusting to the new normal means finding a work-life balance.

Remember, this new normal requires adaptation, flexibility, and learning new ways to communicate.

For one, you need to start thinking about preparing a workspace in your home. Your workspace should be conducive to your work and have adequate lighting.

Secondly, you and your team must find ways to better collaborate. You can consider using Zoom, Trello, or other CMS applications.

Most importantly, accept your new reality. It’s okay when you can’t perfectly juggle remote work and child care. You must be able to set new expectations for your new reality.

Adjusting To The New Normal Means Following New Safety Protocols

Malls and other establishments are slowly resuming their operations under GCQ. But they are implementing strict safety protocols.

For one, they require individuals to wear a mask and their temperature will be checked upon entering the premises.

Secondly, to observe physical distancing, new measures are implemented. For example, at the banks, customers are told to follow the arrows when queuing.

As we slowly adapt to life after lockdown, we’ll experience a lot of changes. We must follow these new measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Prepare For Online Education

This is what the new reality will look like: Employees are working remotely and students are learning from home.

Despite the GCQ, it’s still advisable to limit exposure by staying at home. For this reason, the Department of Education (DepEd) is considering online education as one of their options. With that said, it’s high time to start preparing.

Moving face-to-face lessons to a digital classroom will require a huge adjustment. Not only for teachers but for students as well.

What does this mean for parents? It means investing in online tools and equipment for their children. You’ll need to have a stable internet connection and a budget for a tablet or laptop. This is especially difficult for those in the vulnerable sector.

Another option for some is home-schooling. However, other parents are thinking of letting their children take leave from school as they slowly adjust to the new normal.

In Conclusion

Even if the lockdown is lifted, it’s safer to continue practicing social distancing. If you can, stay at home.

Remember, the number of COVID-19 cases is still increasing. There’s also a large number of asymptomatic cases so you never know who’s infected. Adjusting to the new normal means changing your expectations, priorities, and following safety measures to lower the risk of getting infected.

Recent Posts