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Going from BC-19 to AC-19: A new era?

Written by Marion Aufseesser

20 May 2020

Deconfinement without jams!

Dear Readers,

It’s again a special week. Like all previous weeks but this one has a particular flavour. Why is this week different from all other weeks? Because, in my country of residence, (Switzerland) deconfinement from our semi-confinement has begun.

What is the impact on our daily life in AC-19 read after Covid-19?

In addition to a return to “BC-19” (read before Covid-19) traffic level, I observed an overall very aggressive road behaviour, particularly towards bicycle riders. Lots of hooting too.

 “AC-19” sees the beginning of a new era. We’ll certainly be witnessing lots of changes compared to BC-19.

Some of the changes are definitely positive. Such as seeing friends again and socializing responsibly, being nicer with each other, smiling, smiling with our eyes. Living through this pandemic together brought us closer, discovering that we could live differently, work differently, discover abilities we didn’t know we had, or simply slowing down. We are full of hope and good resolutions for this new era.

Of course, not everything is better and most likely this includes the way we feel about our safety. Is it safe to deconfine? Is it the right timing? Do we all have enough masks, will we get access to tests? Uncertainty and anxiety are words often cited at this moment. We fear for our health and our loved ones’. Yes, deconfining can trigger anxiety as we, despite the sometimes-harsh conditions, got used to our new living conditions. And now what?

Interestingly enough deconfinement comes with its loads of questions. We feel confused by the often contradicting messages we hear from the authorities and news.

Deconfinement comes with different kinds of jams. Traffic jams, jam lines in front of shops, jam lines basically anywhere you need to go inside and do something. The general jamming can cause aggressive behavior, decompensating from confinement? Frustration? Fear?

Fear for some of us going back to the office. Going to places, taking jammed up public transportation where it may be impossible to keep the social distancing required, and where not everyone is wearing a mask (not mandatory in our country). And the risk for some and a reality for others, losing one’s job now. AC-19 comes with a lot of workforce adjustments and we deeply regret if you have been notified with a termination of employment. Or if you find yourself in the difficult position to set up a layoff plan.

 How are we going to adapt to our AC-19 life?

If you haven’t yet filled out PNKR © (http://www.transitionkit.com/pnkr_tk_editeng/) it’s the last moment to do so before your brain forgets and transforms your memories of what confinement did to you in positive as well as negative aspects during Covid-19.

It appears that we are pondering our actions more: we are thinking differently before acting. Do I really need to …go somewhere, buy something? Whatever it is we think we need.

If I really need -or just want to? – run that errand when is the best time to do it?

Online shopping versus brick and mortar stores? If we are choosing to go to a real store because we need to try the product before buying, we might adapt our schedule to avoid jamming. Or like millennials, choosing to favor online shopping whenever possible.

Do I really need to …go somewhere, buy something?

In Switzerland, online grocery shopping has become very popular since about 15 years and obviously even more so since the beginning of Covid-19. At the same time, we see an ever-growing number of local producers organizing home delivery to counter the loss of clients wanting to queue up and those not satisfied with the longer delivery times offered by the online stores.

Interestingly, in Geneva, authorities have decided to introduce larger bicycle lanes, to facilitate use of bicycles and anticipate on the fear that the population might feel about public transportation. This is a major change, here in Geneva. We can easily imagine that the same is happening in more countries.

We now see masked security agents at the entrance of stores with disinfecting lotion to be put on our hands.

This generates inevitable queuing lines, steel barriers, markings on the floor everywhere. You know like the ones, when we used to go to see a show, or we went to a sports event. The difference is that, in BC-19 times we were hoarded and pushed each other. Remember?

Now, in AC-19, we politely smile at each other from behind our masks.

Luckily, if we haven’t had a facelift our eyes will smile back … thank goodness for that.

Some human emotional element can be seen even with a mask on.

To read more on smiles and eyes movement, check the web for real or fake smiling and eye movement articles. (https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/general/spotting-a-duchenne-smile-how-to-identify-a-genuine-smile/)

The information could come in handy especially if you are in a working environment with a mask on policy.

We will adapt. Humans will adapt. That is what stress processing is all about in human beings. Remind me to write about resilience and coping with AC-19 stress soon.

Take good care of yourself until we meet next week,

Marion