Return to ‘normal’ will be a slow, steady process

As hard as it is to believe right now, COVID-19 is not going to last forever. As of April 30, 2020, the United States lockdown was lifted and it is up to states’ governors to decide what the next steps are for their states.

As of right now, a few states have begun reopening such as North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Montana and Georgia. Some states such as Montana are even considering reopening public schools to complete the remainder of the school year. However, every state is different and even when these restrictions start to get lifted, there are going to still be some changes put in place to be safe.

School
As a majority of the schools across the United States have switched to virtual school for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic school year, there are hopes that it will not proceed into the 2020-21 school year. There has even been talk about some college campuses being closed until 2021 such as Boston University, Oregon State and Harvard.

However, once schools are able to return, there are still going to be some guidelines and special rules to be followed for precautionary measures. Some schools, according to USA Today, are planning on having designated days for in-person school and online school. This way, it will decrease the amount of time students and teachers are together in a large group.

There has also been the idea of keeping desks six feet apart, keeping certain teachers to teach at home who have certain health issues, as well as making sanitation a must, requiring everyone to wash their hands often, frequently wiping down surfaces and materials, etc.

Regardless of what school will look like in the fall or whenever it is safe to return to classes in person, there are going to be many changes implemented for a while that will take some adjusting to.

Sports
The sports world has taken a huge hit in many ways because of the Coronavirus. As the NFL Draft was done virtually a couple of weeks ago, we are seeing the future of what some events may start to look like, at least temporarily. As the NBA and MLB’s seasons are currently postponed and many other sporting events have been cancelled or postponed as well, such as the 2020 Summer Olympics, there is discussion about how all sports throughout any season are going to make the safest approach to returning.

A recent ESPN study found that fans favor sports returning without spectators rather than waiting to resume only when fans can attend. This plan was going to be put in place anyways before things got cancelled completely. Professionals are finding that easing our way back into sports, just as we are doing for everything else, is the safest and smartest way to get things slowly back to normal without risking the chance of spreading the virus even more.

As of right now, NBA teams are considering reopening practice facilities for players within the next few weeks, but players and coaches will have to follow extreme guidelines. The NFL is still planning on starting their season on time in early September\; however, everything right now is tentative as it is unknown when this pandemic will end and how easily things will finally be able to get back to normal.

Social Distancing
Our country and in fact the whole entire world have been following at least some social distancing guidelines to some degree. Some of the main ones are quarantining at home, staying six feet apart from others and wearing masks when in essential public places.

As some states begin easing their restrictions, many of these principles are still recommended. The virus is still present and can still easily be spread. Once more states get further into their reopening plans, and even once our country can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this virus, it is still going to be essential for everyone to wash their hands, be careful with the public places and groups you go to and continue best sanitation practices.

This virus is seen to potentially return in the fall, or be as common as the flu or a cold where it is just another seasonal illness. Whatever the future of this virus holds or becomes, safety guidelines are still going to be put in play to some extent at least to best prevent this pandemic from occuring again.

Everything is tentative as of right now and nobody really knows what the future for anyone, is going to look like. Something that everyone can do to prevent the spread is to continue social distancing, wear masks when going to essential places only and wash your hands frequently. As the curve starts to decline and we see places start their plan in reopening, everything is going to go step by step to prevent things from going back to square one. It is safe to say that normal life will not completely return overnight and it is going to take some time for our world to regroup and recover from this major issue.

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