Next week marks one year since the first COVID-19 restrictions were imposed by the NSW government. We really didn’t know what we were in for, did we?
Over the past twelve months, the world has changed in ways we never imagined—both good and bad. We’ve picked up some new habits, while shedding others.
We’ll likely never blow birthday candles out with the same reckless abandon we once did, but on the flip side, at least we’re all now practicing basic hygiene. Remember when we were all wiping down our groceries like a member of the forensics unit? Those were the days. As we slowly but surely march into a post-COVID world, what trends from our ‘quarantime’ are likely to remain, and which will become a distant memory?
Working from home
People have been joking about it for years, but it took a global pandemic for us all to realise that yes, in fact, that meeting could have been an email after all. What first felt like a bit of a novelty quickly became a perfectly feasible reality. Once people realised they could do their work from anywhere, few opted for that place to be their office, and those who did all seemed to have children—go figure? Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Spotify, have all announced their employees can work remotely permanently, so it looks like the schtick has stuck.
In April 2020, the Government ordered a six-month moratorium on new forced evictions if the tenant couldn’t pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus. Under the scheme, a landlord or managing agent had to negotiate with tenants who were struggling to pay rent, with most offering substantial rent reductions to keep their properties occupied. The eviction moratorium expires on March 26, and as the property market continues to bounce back from last year, leniency from landlords seems likely to expire with it. Just as no one could have predicted the burden the pandemic would place on renters and homeowners, no one could have predicted the property market’s phenomenal growth in its wake. Australian property values grew at their fastest rate in 17 years over February, with Sydney recording the strongest growth as home value rose 2.5% to $895,933, with an auction clearance rate of over 80% for the last 5 weeks straight.
Take away food from restaurants
Since Covid hit, we’ve been pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to takeaway and food delivery options. To stay afloat, most restaurants had to offer their menu takeaway or create a new one entirely while restrictions took hold across the country. But what was once a temporary fix seems likely to stay, at least for most mid-level cafes and restaurants who’ve come to rely on pick-up and delivery app orders to keep their businesses open.
Gonna go out on a limb here and say this was a wild social experiment to begin with, pandemic or no pandemic. A bunch of strangers crammed next to each other in an airless car at the whim of another stranger driving them home? Add a highly contagious virus to the mix and there’s no chance in hell Kimberly’s getting in a Maxda3 with the windows up while two randoms going in the same direction as her try to strike up conversation—even if it saves her $20.
In the wake of the devastating bushfires in late 2019/early 2020, there was a huge push to shop local and support small businesses that had been affected by the fires. The momentum only intensified as we traded one catastrophe for another, and consumers turned their backs on global corporations to spend their money closer to home. Over the course of the year, online sales boomed, with Australians seeking out locally produced, handmade, and eco-friendly products from around the country. And as border closures barred us from international travel, we explored our own backyard and discovered we truly do live in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth.
Seriously, who has the time?
Verdict: Just buy it from the bakery.