The New Normal: How a Pandemic Changes Everything



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Written by: Rita Magallona

If you could do a short hop back in time to New Year’s Day 2020, what would you tell your (slightly) younger self? How would you describe the sweeping changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic? No one could’ve predicted that in a matter of weeks, life as we know it would become so drastically different.

What the New Normal Looks Like in 2020

1. New working conditions

Do you have the privilege of working from home? Expect this to continue for some time as telecommuting becomes the norm. So settle into your home office and set it up for prolonged use.

Even if you do go back to your workplace when quarantine measures are relaxed, life will not be the same for a long time. You will have to work with new sanitation protocols and physical distancing.

2. New ways of doing transactions

Thankfully, online banking, shopping, and other business transactions have been around for some time. In fact, they have evolved to the point that these services are now available to you even on your smartphone.

If you haven’t been using them before, you may want to explore these online options to minimize, if not totally eliminate, close contact with strangers. Be proactive about securing your accounts, though. Never tell anyone your personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, and authentication one-time passwords (OTPs).

3. New ways of connecting

While social distancing is needed to keep yourself and others safe, you will still need to keep in contact with family and friends. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of apps that now allow instantaneous communication anywhere in the world, as long as you have a stable internet connection.


Use video calling apps to contact your loved ones and check on how they are doing. These interactions can be as simple as a chat or a full-blown virtual birthday party. Strengthening your relationships, even virtually, has a positive impact on your mental health.

4. New sense of self-reliance

Most services that used to make our lives easier are now unavailable: daycares and schools, cleaning and housekeeping services, and handyman services. You now have to do most of the household chores yourself, all while taking care of your children, facilitating home-based lessons, taking care of pets, and having a full-time job.

These are challenging times, indeed. But with a lot of patience and creativity in making all things fit into your daily schedule, you could make it work.

5. New opportunities for creativity

We’re all going through a lot of mental and emotional stress. So, you have to find ways to cope with the uncertainty. Why not learn a new skill or hobby? Now’s the time to learn how to speak another language, fix a cabinet, write better, play an instrument, bake a cake – the possibilities are endless.

The internet offers a wide array of online classes, webinars, and tutorial videos. Take advantage of these resources to not only relieve your mind of quarantine stress, but also to develop your skills or acquire new ones that you may need later.

Hopefully, we get to keep the best that the new normal has to offer.

Helping others is another way to find meaning in a stressful situation. If you’re looking for a cause to support, consider TOUCH Community Services, a not-for-profit charity organisation in Singapore. Ohmyhome has been in partnership with TOUCH over the years.

Officially registered in 1992, TOUCH has been a member of the National Council of Social Service since 1994. The organisation has reached out to many individuals from all religions and ethnicity, including children, youths, families, people with special and healthcare needs, and the elderly.

Learn more about TOUCH, call (65) 6377 0122, email [email protected] or you can donate now

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