It’s true everyone is waiting to come back to normality; however, a return to how life was at the start of 2020 is some way off. The real question we have to ask ourselves is “What might change forever?”
According to Zoe Kleinman, technology reporter of BBC, we have developed a complete technological culture. We do everything from home using platforms like Whatsapp, Zoom, etc. Platforms have indeed become the only way for us to work, get fit, be educated, and entertained.
According to Emma Simpson, business correspondent of BBC, there will be a sales bounce after lockdown; nevertheless, it may be short-lived if people have been made redundant and are unable to spend. That’s why small retail firms may disappear and bigger retail firms with good financial health prosper.
The digital transformation of business will grow fast since home-officing as the new way of working is questioning the future thinking of business and people’s daily lives. Questions such as “do we need large city office space with staff relying on crowded public transport?” will be asked, according to Simon Jack, business editor of BBC. Home-working can rush history but we should take into account that businesses are so affected that they won’t be able to invest in the short and maybe long-term resulting in a lower economic growth than expected.
Trying to look at the bright side of the current situation, the coronavirus lockdown offers a sense of how a greener the world might feel, empty roads, less trash in the environment, etc. According to David Shukman, the science editor of BBC, the world can repeat history and use the fossil fuel; however, another option is for a more sustainable recovery, with policies to encourage a low-carbon future. This would determine pushes for renewable energy, public transport, and home energy efficiency. The real question here is what do we want for the new future normality?
Since June 15, some places in Montreal and the rest of Quebec started to reopen; however, people can start going out to restaurants and friend’s places only in some areas of the province. For example, in the city of Montreal people still need to wait a little bit more to gather with friends and family indoors but they can schedule appointments for haircuts and nails.
According to Quebec’s government, at the end of May and the beginning of June museums, some library services, campsites, and Sépaq parks began to open.
For cinemas, some of the traditional theatres began popping up across the province with social distancing measures. On the other hand, drive-in theatres have become a new trend as they started to show movies again. People are still waiting for new government announcements to open bars and gyms.
To be more specific about the reopening, restaurants opened their door to the public outside Montreal metropolitan community, the Joliette MRC, and L’Épiphanie for the first time since March. Mall food courts are included too. It is important to mention that social distancing and more safety measures are applied.
People are allowed to have small indoor gatherings of a maximum of 10 people outside the Montreal metropolitan community, Joliette and L’Épiphanie. According to the government and for obvious reasons “a distance of at least two meters must be kept between those people who are not from the same household”. Also, people are allowed to rent chalets with their friends for the weekend as long as they follow the same rules.
Finally, the businesses that offer services directly to the public can open again. These businesses are related to the personal and beauty care of the Montreal area and Joliette, such as stylists, barbers, manicure, pedicure and skincare services, tattoos and body piercing.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed what we used to know as normality. We have gone through a big change in our daily lives and despite the fact that nobody knows when we will be able to go out, for sure, we’ll gradually come back to a new normality and start over.
On May 21, the city of Montreal announced the reopening of skateparks and pétanque courts in the city. Gradually, dog parks reopened on May 22 and municipal golf courses reopened on May 23. Furthermore, Ile Notre-Dame also reopened on Saturday May 23 along with the access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and Parc Jean-Drapeau; however, its parking lot will remain closed.
The city said it will progressively reopen the 102 municipal tennis courts across the city’s 19 boroughs; however, players will be allowed to only play singles, not doubles or training sessions.
Thanks for staying at home because together we can fight against COVID-19. Stay tuned to more information about what the city of Montreal will be opening soon!