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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Never in a million years did I think I would experience a pandemic during my lifetime, but here we are. I also never thought the pandemic would’ve lasted this painstakingly long. And let’s be honest, things won’t go back to the way they were before the pandemic either. Although hopefully, once most people receive their vaccinations, we can slowly return to a bit of normalcy.

I’m not going to lie though, pre-COVID life was pretty gross. As much as I hope to go back to our normal lifestyles sooner rather than later, we need to think about what changes we should make first. Most important is the cleanliness of our old habits. I mean, blowing out candles (and spitting) on birthday cakes for everyone to eat afterwards? Sharing drinks and food with our friends? Or shaking hands with someone you just met at a business meeting or kissing a stranger at the club? And let’s not forget about not sanitizing or washing our hands after holding poles on public transit. No, thank you.

So, what will our new post-pandemic life look like? There’s no doubt that some things will be different from before COVID. Sure, I’m sometimes annoyed about having to wear a mask all the time when I’m around others, but I think that’s one practice we should consider keeping in the future. Before the pandemic, wearing masks was a prevalent practice for people living in Asian countries. Citizens there usually wore a mask automatically when they had a cold because they wanted to protect others around them from getting sick. I hadn’t previously considered how great this idea was, but now I’m questioning why we never practiced this before. It’s out of courtesy and politeness to be concerned for others’ wellbeing and health. It’s upsetting to know that some people still haven’t grasped the understanding that wearing a mask is meant to protect others more than it’s meant to protect yourself. Also, I guarantee most people will have fewer common colds and the flu during the year if masks are still around post-pandemic. To be honest, I can’t imagine a life without wearing one at certain places. It’s definitely a practice to consider when travelling for long hours on public transport or flights.

No matter what post-COVID life will look like, it’s understandable to feel anxious about returning to questionable normalcy. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has caused high levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges for many of us. The constant news updates and lockdown announcements also cause stress and uncertainty. You’re not alone! As much as I miss hanging out with my friends and family, it’s very likely that I’ll be wary about doing many activities that I once considered normal. Change takes time to understand and adjust to!

Even though COVID will be mostly gone eventually, I know there are many old habits I’ll be choosing to stop doing and many new practices I’ll adopt going forward. Personally, I don’t ever want to eat a birthday cake covered in bacteria again. In the meantime, wear your masks and wash your hands! Stay safe, everyone.

Melissa Huen

Wilfrid Laurier '22

Melissa is in her 4th year at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology. When she's not busy raving about her hometown, Vancouver, BC, you can find her baking, travelling, or checking out the newest restaurants in town.
Rebecca is in her 5th year at Wilfrid Laurier University.  During the school year, she can be found drinking copious amounts of kombucha, watching hockey and procrastinating on Pinterest. She joined HCWLU as an editor in the Winter 2018 semester, and after serving as one of the Campus Correspondents in 2019-20, she is excited to be returning for the 2020-21 school year! she/her