Masks, social distance, telework: the year that changed the world


It is one of the words that best sums up this year 2020: “Pandemic”. It literally means “affecting everyone.” And it is that the coronavirus has changed all aspects of our lives.

Without going any further, it has led us to surprising discoveries, such as the general need during harsh confinement to have a product such as toilet paper on hand, which has been bought in large quantities during these months.

We have also been really aware of what it means to “be locked up at home”, with television, computer and mobile screens as the only means of contact with the outside. Our home has become a school classroom, work office and gym, while family gatherings, however, have been done through video calls.

In nursing homes, the elderly have been even more isolated, having had to endure long periods without receiving any visitors.

New traditions and outfits

The social gatherings were held from window to window, during the traditional applause to the medical personnel who, day after day, faced, in the front line, a crisis that paralyzed the world. New York, one of the great centers of the pandemic, was for weeks one of the main settings for this public appreciation of health personnel.

Masks went from being an outfit reserved only for medical personnel to a basic necessity for everyone. And that at first the WHO did not see it necessary to carry them. After several contradictory messages and based on studying and learning about the coronavirus, today no one leaves home without their mask on.

And it is that as time passes we know more about the common enemy. How it spreads, how to combat it. The pandemic has also changed the way we greet: there are no longer two kisses, no handshakes or hugs. The clash of elbows or at the most of fists have become the new universal greeting.

Concern, outrage and crisis

Of course, the protests have been part of the process, and many citizens have shown their dissatisfaction with the behavior of their governments and the lack of information. Skeptics, deniers, conspiracies, extremists or simply concerned citizens have taken to the streets on numerous occasions asking for more freedom, more security or simply more information.

Restaurants, cafes, shops, hotels, cinemas, theaters have had to close for weeks or months, and many businesses have not been able to bear such a decision and have definitively closed. Many others also fear for their survival. In cities like Lyon, workers have taken to the streets with a clear message: we need to work.

The longed-for vaccines, experts report, are finally just around the corner. The whole world hopes that in 2021 the famous “new normal” of 2020 can finally become old.


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