Change is not easy and many people do not like it. I struggled to find a topic to write this week, so I searched the internet and read articles. There where tons of information about the COVID-19 outbreak. While it is hard to forecast the future, it is anticipated many changes will happen because of COVID-19. Social distancing restrictions will be loosened, and when they do, what changes will we discover? Are the changes something we can live with and sustain, or will the changes create long term issues in the future?
Will there be a mad dash to restaurants, stores, recreational areas when restrictions end? There may be a slow return with cautiousness to distance and personal hygiene, but will there be restaurants and local stores to visit? Will the majority of people who have applied for unemployment actually afford anything that nonessential to survival?
There are so many questions and not enough answers. Change is difficult (even if it is a good change) and is hard to accept especially when there is much that is uncertain.
Be ready for change and understand what is happening and what is going on. This may help alleviate any fears of the future by being proactive. Talk with someone who you trust. They may have some helpful feedback that can be of use and reduce fears that you may have. Make a list of things you plan to do and how you will do it and any alternatives as this will help you plan ahead.
I listed a few things I believe will be more frequent when mandatory social distancing regulations are gone. I believe the new changes will be forever changing, so hang on for the ride, and enjoy every minute of it.
People are socially driven, and the recent restrictions may have placed more strains on the more vulnerable groups with health issues. However, telemedicine is on the rise. Telemedicine will be able to reach further and a wider pool of individuals who may need certain assistance from medical professionals. Telemedicine can help with physical and mental health issues. This change will be welcomed by many individuals in need of services in which transportation is an issue, to medical professionals to reach those who are in need, and to the general public. While telemedicine does not take the place of face-to-face examinations, it appears to have a better reach to more of those who are in need.
Traditionally schools have functioned within a brick and mortar physical location. School shootings, school violence drugs, and decreasing school grades in education have made shifts toward homeschooling before COVID19. Currently, all schooling is in the form of long-distance learning through homeschooling and other methods. What will the next school year bring? Some high school graduations are being canceled, no field trips, no socialization, no structured sports to play. Not all children thrive within institutional settings as some do. While teachers are being creative during the mandatory social distancing requirements, what will it be next school year? When parents start to go back to work, youth may be left home alone. This may cause great concerns for the parent, community, and the child with no social activity. Many communities are being proactive in support with videos and banners, but what can we do for our children in the community who may be left home alone?
There may be a possibility that workspaces may change. Leaders recognized that open workspaces increased workflow, communication, and management. However, this may change with concerns of being distant from coughs and sneezes and keep workers in secluded areas to keep germs and such at a minimum. Workplaces may consider easier sanitized access, if there is a workspace at all. With many office personnel working remotely, office space may be reduced altogether. Of course, this leads me to think of new technology that will be developed because of all of these changes.
Whatever changes are in store for all of us, I look forward to what it brings. I am hoping I meet the challenges and am proactive with leading the way to help others overcome change resistance, fear and frustrations that come with change.
A small prayer I found that can be encouraging and a quote that could be helpful:
“God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou
Angela Sheppard is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She started working with the State Attorney’s Office 23 years ago. She first started as the receptionist and then progressed to the Diversion Program Director. While in her current position, she has shown initiative in community outreach activities, advocacy in prevention, and revitalizing programs. While working with the State, she has earned her Public Administration Master Degree, Certification as a Certified Florida Family Mediator, and a Graduate Certificate for Human Resource Policy Management. Angela spends her spare time volunteering as Board Chair with AMIKids, a non-profit school. She enjoys enrichment programs such as GovLoop.com and other educational media.