After fourteen months of virtual only sessions, I am finally seeing clients in-person again. It’s both a scary and exciting time. As we all struggle to return to some type of normalcy, it will be interesting to see which pandemic habits tick around and which ones get scrapped. What changes in your life are worth keeping? What things are you glad to see go?
One of the biggest changes during the pandemic for much of the world was the switch to teleworking. For me, this was in the form of virtual treatment sessions using Zoom, Facetime or some other video calling platform usually referred to as telehealth or telerehabilitation. It was a challenge at first but I learned a lot from the experience that I plan to integrate into my in-person sessions. Virtual sessions allowed me to spend more time working with my clients rather than working on them. I spent less time instructing them and more time communicating and educating which allowed for more personalization of their programs and, I believe, better adherence. The convenience and improved accessibility of care provided by telemedicine and telehealth means that it is here to stay. I am excited to continue offering the option to my clients.
I miss shaking hands. I have no idea if we will ever get back to the practice of a good old fashioned firm handshake but I will be glad to see the elbow bump and fist bump go. Please, please let them be gone. First of all, who thought of the elbow bump? Who thought that leaning in close enough to another person to touch elbows was a good idea during a pandemic? You’re already within three feet of the person why not go ahead and give a hug? The fist bump is a better idea but I still can’t help feeling a little silly doing it. I’m a touchy feely person so I won’t pass on a bump but I look forward to a return to the shake.
Masks. Ugh. The most impressive feat during the whole pandemic was getting so many people to wear masks for prolonged periods. Considering how uncomfortable it is to wear a mask, I believe the relatively small number of people who refused to wear them is impressive. Masks are one of those things I wish we could say goodbye to but I know that we shouldn’t. Despite their faults, masks are a useful tool to combat the spread of viruses that we should make sure sticks around as a socially accepted practice. If we all continued to utilize a mask when we have a fever or cough or if we have been exposed to someone with a virus, we could save so many lives from influenza, coronavirus or any future virus that will inevitably come our way.
We have inhaled and absorbed so much alcohol during the pandemic that I’m surprised we’re not all walking around a little tipsy. The world has gone crazy with sanitizers and disinfectants trying to wipe away every virus known (and unknown) to man. We now know that COVID-19, like most viruses, is fairly fragile outside the body and does not survive long on surfaces. We do not need all of this disinfecting in our normal lives. Even before the pandemic, many healthcare workers like myself had developed allergies to disinfecting chemicals due to the normal usage in clinical settings. What do you think the ramifications will be from this current overuse? Sanitizers and disinfectants have their benefits ut let’s not forget that simple soap is just as good, if not better, at killing the virus.
One thing is for sure. Just like other major world events, life as we know it will be forever changed post-pandemic. We still have a ways to go before we truly return to our new normal but now is the time to start figuring out what we want that normal to look like. We all will have a hand in shaping our future. Let’s learn from the negative and hold onto the positive. Raise your glass of lemonade and toast to a future that is bright with opportunity.