As communities begin to reopen their offices, restaurants, parks, and stores, some aspects of daily life are returning to normal, but some are looking radically different. Even in areas where restaurants are reopening, customers are still cautious about exposing themselves to normal life again. With unprecedented economic and social changes affecting life around the world, many are calling for a return to a different and better future, rather than life as usual pre-pandemic.
A poll conducted by Yes! Magazine found that 90 percent of Americans do not want to go back to exactly how life was before the pandemic. And who can blame them? COVID-19 gives us the opportunity to reopen our economies in a more efficient, equal, and sustainable way.
We at The Optimist Daily are diving deeper into how our economies can be greener, more inclusive, and more locally-focused after the pandemic. According to the poll, 60 percent of respondents want countries to be better prepared for future crises and half want significant improvements in our health care systems. Over a third also want better pay for low-wage workers and better welfare systems.
You may notice the “Back to Better” badge on some of our recent stories. We are tracking positive changes and potential areas for significant growth as we look past the COVID-19 crisis. While revolutionizing economic systems can be daunting, many of the solutions we have discussed, such as agriculture microgrids and circular economic models, are a great place to start.
As individuals, we can also begin to make meaningful changes in our daily lives as we return to more open societies. Be conscious of where you get your food and what you purchase as a consumer. It may sound like a cliché, but these changes we want to see in the world start with collective individual action.
If we truly want to return to a better world post-pandemic, let’s start making conscious choices today that will affect our communities tomorrow.