While many of the changes that we’ve had to put into place because of Covid 19 have been an inconvenience, there’s definitely some changes that we’d like to see stick around.
1.Flexible Cancellation Policies While sadly flexible cancellation policies already seems to be fading, we need to try and keep them. Nobody knows whether they will be sick 2-3 days in advance and making people pay full price for a missed appointment or class can cause someone to brush off mild symptoms that they may have just started getting. While dealing with cancellations is difficult, we managed to relax cancellation policies at the start of Covid and we should be able to keep them that way.
2. Not having to go out when you are sick. Pre-Pandemic it almost seemed like a badge of honor to push through normal life if you had a cold or flu. Now all workplaces are supposed to encourage their staff to stay home when they are sick, which is how it should be. I am sure we have all seen colds and flus spread through the workplace or at school, so it makes sense to try and get people to stay home instead of infecting everyone else.
3. Less crowded fitness classes While 3m of space may be a bit much, some studios were definitely packing in people to a point where it was difficult to move pre pandemic. It’s certainly nice not having people’s arms and legs hit you and not having to worry about hitting other people. As fitness classes are known to spread a lot of germs having some space for yourself should help keep people healthy all the time.
4. More active transportation. It has been great to see so many people out walking, biking and using other forms of active transportation on the streets and pathways. There’s been so many people out that the city closed off lanes and streets in certain neighborhoods to accomodate more people. If the temporary street and lane closures have helped you get around, make sure that you keep using them and let your councillor know so they can become permanent.
Now that people have bought Calgary out of bikes, I hope people keep biking throughout the year and that safe cycling and pedestrian friendly infrastructure becomes more of a priority. An active commute is one of the best things you can do for your health and also saves money.
5. Kids playing outside. I haven’t seen this many kids playing outside since I was a kid. It’s been great seeing kids outside and engaging in unstructured play. Outdoor play is an important part of development and physical activity and something that Canada has been failing at. This pandemic has shown us that kids will still play outside if we let them.
6. Automatic Handshakes and Hugs While I think everyone is missing some physical contact from people that aren’t in your bubble, not having to shake hands and hug everyone you meet can be a relief. As with fitness classes, handshakes are known to spread germs and many medical experts have been trying to end the handshake for years. The time spent trying to perfect the firm handshake can be put into how to properly wash your hands.
Hugs are also great for spreading germs and while hugs are great between friends with both people consenting, society is still realizing that not everyone wants to be hugged all the time.