What if COVID-19 continues until 2022 as some have predicted?

What would happen if the virus continues for years? Photo courtesy of Elgin Community College.

“Hey six feet!” Only four months into the new year and those three words are splattered and heard just about everywhere. Things have definitely gone in a direction no one expected since COVID-19 made its appearance in the United States, and things are simply going to have to be different for the sake of each other’s health and peace of mind.

With talk of social distancing continuing to 2022, that raises some eyebrows and it will definitely take a toll on the economy as well as the younger generation. 

Manoishka Germain is a current Gainesville resident who works at target. She has seen the changes firsthand.

“I’ve noticed guest being very distant since this started,” Germain said. “They act as if they are in an apocalypse.”

Schools have become completely online, business are either closing or shortening their hours, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment, hand sanitizer and face masks have been wiped off the shelves and sold out online.  

No restaurant dining, just open drive thrus, social distancing of six feet or more and people walking around with masks and gloves on just for a trip to the grocery store with hopes that they can get back home without getting infected with the Coronavirus.

We have entered the “new normal.” But if social distancing continues into 2022, then we will have to brace ourselves for a possible generation of kids who may grow to have social anxiety. 

A struggle to get our hands on a Lysol bottle may go on longer than anticipated and last but clearly not least, we will deal with being bored and only somewhat productive as we post videos on TikTok.

With more than 2,047,700 global cases and more than 632,800 US cases, the Coronavirus has taken the lives of over 133,000 people according to the CNBC. As health care professionals work tirelessly to keep patients at ease and alive, a survey of more than 1200 health care workers in China says about 50% reported at least mild depression; 14% of physicians and almost 16% of nurses reported moderate or severe depressive symptoms and about 34% reported insomnia. 

Already this pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health. These percentages can easily go up inside and outside the health care profession if we don’t continue to do our part of staying six feet apart from the next person, washing our hands like we all should have been doing before the pandemic even started and covering our coughs and sneezes. 

As for students across the country who now have to get used to having class through a computer screen, there may be an increase in social anxiety by the time we get out of this pandemic. 

According to The Age of  Montessori,  kids in their early years are taking in knowledge and simple human interaction skills. There are kids between the ages of 4 and 6 whose brains are soaking up knowledge like a sponge and this is what they are being exposed to a pandemic. 

For them, they will think school is supposed to always be through a computer screen not to mention these kids more than likely won’t have many friends because they will be used to this form of social isolation if this continues for the next 2-3 years. They may think it’s completely normal to go to the grocery store with masks and gloves on their hands, and they may develop germaphobia as they get older. 

If this continues to 2022 then the stock market is going to continue to fall. The stock market crashed on Monday, March 9, with history’s largest point plunge for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and even worse in the eyes of some. Companies like The Cheesecake Factory can’t even pay their rent due to this pandemic.

Although COVID-19 has forced everyone to find a new normal and distance ourselves from each other, there is talk about an act being passed. The Emergency Money for the People Act would issue monthly payments of $2,000 to individuals and families for six months, or until the U.S. economy “recovers” from the coronavirus outbreak. 

But if this outbreak is still as powerful as it is now and goes into 2022, families are going to need more than that for the next 6 months and the economy will take much longer to get back on track to what we all once knew as normal.