Post COVID etiquette may be a little early, but it is nice to think about it.
As lockdowns begin to lift hopefully in a few months, we need to decide what’s safe, what’s friendly and what’s just rude.
After a long time in lockdown and government deciding our social etiquette, the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions is going to cast us into an unnerving age of uncertainty. What will be safe, and how do we know? What gesture of affection might strike others as callous — or even dangerous?
Once we are vaccinated, should we still be worried about shaking someone’s hand?
Post COVID etiquette, is what will make these decisions nerve-wracking is what’s made navigating the pandemic so difficult from the outset: the lack of certainty about the dangers of infection or the effectiveness of the countermeasures.
We have come to trust and obey our health officials’ judgement. Hence the sense of panic when we have to make those decisions for ourselves. Will it really be safe without a face mask to go shopping? Has the danger really gone away, or is it lurking everywhere such as in night clubs and bars.
The restaurant rules will be just as bewildering. Why will it be safe to be six around a table but not eight? Why must we wear a mask when being shown to an indoor table but not when brushing past neighbouring diners on the terrace?
It is not going to be easy to work out all these new rules for ourselves and at the same time being mindful of our friend’s/colleagues attitude to this new way of interacting. However, this is a challenge that we all will have to face, hopefully sooner than later.
I wish everyone good luck once the COVID restrictions are lifted and you begin to navigate our new order.