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The New Normal: 4 Covid Changes That Are Here to Stay

April 10, 2024by Global Ozone

Remember when all we wanted to do was get back to normal? In the early weeks of the pandemic, we all were seeking an ounce of normalcy in between wiping down groceries and buying toilet paper in bulk. 

Now that we’re a few years removed from those confusing times, let’s talk about what “normal” looks like and how Covid has made permanent changes to our daily lives.

Hybrid Workplaces & Schools

We found out that you don’t always have to be in person to get your work done. Covid ushered in a new era for most white collar workers, resulting in many new home offices and meetings taken in pajamas. Even though in-person work is an option, most workers aren’t in any hurry to go back.

While offices are reopening, we’re seeing more businesses allow their employees to enjoy hybrid work environments. According to a 2023 Gallup poll, 50% of remote-capable workers are now following a hybrid work schedule. As a result, hybrid work opportunities are a recruiting tool that’s especially popular with younger generations just entering the workforce. 

For schools, the transition to remote learning wasn’t quite as smooth. Teachers have noticed that the loss of structure during the pandemic had serious consequences, resulting in students falling behind their grade benchmarks and struggling with behavior issues. Students from impoverished backgrounds especially suffered as a result of school closures. Thankfully, disinfection protocols and expanded vaccination programs allowed schools to reopen for in-person learning as quickly as possible. 

Still — hybrid learning lingers. Students who miss school for illness can catch up on work online, and schools may announce virtual learning days when weather prevents safe travel to school. 

Increased Focus on Hygiene 

Public health officials strongly pushed for hand hygiene to prevent Covid, and that’s something that we can all get behind long-term. 

Covid isn’t the only disease spread by touching contaminated surfaces. The flu, RSV, E. Coli, and other germs are lurking on surfaces that you touch all the time. Think about the doorknobs, elevator buttons, and gas pumps that you touch without thinking — how many people sneezed into their hand and then touched it too? Before Covid, were you washing your hands as frequently as you should?

Now, you see handwashing and hand sanitizing stations in malls, school hallways, movie theaters, and public spaces of all kinds.

Leaning on Tech

All of this reliance on remote connection means we need technology now more than ever. From telemedicine to learning tools, we’ve seen our need for technology expand rapidly over the past few years.

Zoom became a verb in 2020. These days, meeting over a video call is more the norm than meeting in person. It’s easier, faster, and it connects people from all over the world to collaborate. As a result, Zoom’s profits more than quadrupled during 2020, and they continue to build on the overnight success that came with the pandemic. 

When it wasn’t safe for high-risk individuals to visit a doctor’s office, telemedicine was the ideal solution for people to discuss their health and access needed prescriptions. Now, telemedicine is a convenient new way for everyone to address their concerns, even when they don’t have time for an in-person appointment. Primary care physicians especially have seen an increase in remote healthcare, with telemedicine accounting for nearly half of all of their appointments.

Education and tech are also working hand in hand. Schools are issuing Chromebooks, iPads, and other tools that their students use to view powerpoints and complete work. These items provide a chance for students to get more experience with personal technology, but they’re also yet another shared item that schools will need to disinfect upon return. 

High Standards for Disinfection 

It’s not just about washing your hands — Covid put the spotlight on disinfection practices in public spaces. In an effort to make social gatherings safe again, organizations put a high level of focus on better sanitizing practices. There was a run on high-power cleaners like bleach and a new acceptance of nontraditional disinfectants.  

Looking for a disinfection solution that’s even more powerful than bleach? Global Ozone’s line of sanitizing systems unleash ozone to eliminate germs from even the hardest-to-reach spaces. 

In schools and athletic facilities, Sports-O-Zone is the fastest way to sanitize protective gear, shared school supplies, and uniforms to make them safe for the next person to use. It also leaves behind a fresh scent (which is hard to come by in these environments!). 

Law enforcement and military are also at high risk for COVID-19 infection, as well as many other contagious diseases. Make sure that your gear maintains its protective capabilities while also killing off dangerous pathogens. Decon Zone is a solution that first responders and military units around the world trust to keep them safe.

See how Global Ozone can improve disinfection standards and reduce your risk of infections at your organization. Reach out to us for more information today.