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10 changes we can expect after the coronavirus crisis

Nobody knows how long the world’s coronavirus crisis will last. But addressing the emergency has caused us to test and implement measures that could forever impact the way we live our lives in America.

Here are 10 changes we can expect after the coronavirus crisis is over:

1. Telemedicine will become more common. 

The idea of doctors seeing patients through a live phone or computer video hookup isn’t new. But with the coronavirus crisis, Congress passed a law that makes it easier for elderly patients on Medicare to be treated this way and for doctors to get paid for it. Telemedicine will become more common across the board.

2. More workers will telecommute.

Many workplaces that never before offered telecommuting have had to do so in the face of the coronavirus. Once systems are established and practiced, both government and private employers will institute more telecommuting options. During large outbreaks of flu or other infectious diseases, bosses will allow or encourage many employees to work at home.

3. More students will sign up for distance learning.

With almost no advance warning, schools around the country have been told to offer online education options. Colleges and universities have had to facilitate more distance learning options. After coronavirus, more college students will sign up for distance learning, and colleges and universities will expand their distance program offerings.

4. U.S. border restrictions will remain tightened.

To minimize the spread of coronavirus, the U.S. has shut down its borders with Mexico and Canada to “non-essential travel.” Once the health crisis ends, expect pressure from border hawks to keep a tighter grip on illegal immigration into the U.S.

5. People will be more finicky about germs.

With soap and hand sanitizer in high demand, many Americans will continue with their germ-fighting habits after coronavirus. They will wash their hands more frequently and implement “social distancing” on a regular basis, particularly during flu and cold season.

6. Cruising won’t be as popular.

With some passengers infected on cruise ships, stuck on cruise ships, quarantined on cruise ships; and with talk of cruise ships even being repurposed as floating hospitals, some vacationers who might have chosen a cruise post-coronavirus instead will stay closer to home or pick a different type of trip.

7. Those who can will create or add to a savings reserve.

There’s nothing like getting caught flat-footed in an emergency to convince us to better prepare for the next one. The stock market has tanked, businesses large and small are in trouble, many people are unexpectedly out of work or getting paid less. Many who are able to get back on their feet will put more focus than they did in the past on building a “rainy day” emergency fund.

8. Families will routinely keep emergency supplies on hand.

The prospect of an indefinite period of time with “shelter in place” restricted movement orders has sent Americans on a buying spree for emergency supplies. One survey says a majority of Americans, 63 percent, have been to the grocery store to buy a stash of food. When the current crisis passes, individuals and families will be more likely to stay stocked up on a checklist of emergency items, including edibles, masks, gloves and soap.

9. Many will add “toilet paper” to their emergency stash.

The unexpected toilet paper buyout has led to potty panic and even theft. No matter that we are assured this is an anomaly, many people will be sure to have a generous supply of toilet tissue in their emergency supplies.

10. There will be a Christmastime and New Year’s baby boom. (Do the math.)

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Sharyl Attkisson Social distancing Telehealth

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