How the Pandemic Changed How People Live … And How to Adapt


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Article by Eleanor Wyatt

Saying the pandemic was a momentous event is an understatement. It fundamentally altered the lives of nearly everyone, often in ways that were anticipated.

While the situation is calming, the pandemic is still affecting people’s lives today. Andrea Sturdivant takes a look at how the pandemic changed how people live, as well as how to adapt to some of the challenges.

Work

Unless you worked from home full-time prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 likely had a notable impact on your professional life. Many office-based professionals began working remotely with little – if any – notice. For those working in customer-facing roles, layoffs may have occurred.

Even those who continued to report to workplaces during the majority of the pandemic experienced upheaval. Mask mandates, social distancing, and other requirements may have altered operations dramatically, requiring everyone to adapt to the new normal.

As offices reopen, many professionals are heading back to the workplace. If you’re part of the 40 percent of Americans who would prefer to stay at home full-time, that may not be ideal. In that case, looking for alternative employment may be best. This includes working from home as a freelancer or contract employee, which may entail downsizing. Some have chosen to get out of their larger home and move into a rental. If you’re looking for a house to rent, there are plenty to choose from – more than 2,400 properties are available in Charlotte alone.

By starting your own business, you get more control and flexibility. As SmartAsset notes, by choosing an LLC as your business structure, there can be tax advantages while reducing your overall risk. If you go with an LLC, just make sure to review the laws in your state about forming one. That way, you can complete the process correctly. Some states’ business regulations are simple enough that you can forgo the lawyer if you prefer. Instead, you can use a formation service or file yourself, potentially saving you quite a bit in lawyer fees, which, according to Thumbtack, come in at an average of $243 per hour.

If your option was to start your own venture, you’ve already experienced paperwork piling up, including receipts and legal documentation such as formation papers. It’s easy to misplace documents as time goes on, so make it a point to keep all your items in one place and organize them so they’re easy to access later. A good way to retain and retrieve your records is to digitize them, and Adobe Acrobat makes it easy to combine and compress PDFs, which also saves on storage space on your hard drive or in the cloud.

Education

During the early stages of the pandemic, many schools closed their doors and transitioned students to eLearning platforms. That created a significant challenge for many households, particularly working parents who now had to balance their professional responsibilities with overseeing their child’s education.

While schools are largely reopening this year, being prepared for a potential shift back to remote learning is essential. It isn’t clear whether resurgences of the virus may make long-term remote learning a necessity once more. As a result, working parents should communicate with their employers about the possible need to telecommute if they have already returned to the workplace. That way, any required technologies and approvals can be in place if schools close once more.

Shopping

The pandemic created havoc for shoppers all around the country. Runs on items like toilet paper made it hard for many people to get what they needed. Increased use of home delivery strained companies that weren’t prepared for the rise in demand.

Today, issues with grocery shortages are impacting shoppers. Much of this is caused by supply chain or manufacturing disruptions, a situation that may remain in place for some time.

Households need to be agile when it comes to shopping. Along with creating a list, it may be wise to identify reasonable alternatives to many items that are regularly in short supply. This allows you to transition quickly, reducing feelings of panic or frustration that can occur if something is out of stock.

Child-Rearing

During the pandemic, school and daycare closures meant that children were spending essentially all of their time at home. For parents, this was a significant shift in their child-rearing responsibilities, as they weren’t getting assistance from others during the day.

While reopening processes have long been underway, parents will still encounter some challenges. For example, children may need to wear masks while at school or daycare, so it’s best to prepare them for that requirement.

Additionally, having backup care is essential. Then, if a school or daycare has to close, parents will have someone lined up who can help care for their child in the interim.

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