As our workplaces and schools start to open, I am struck by how much things have changed “post Covid.” The changes remind me of one hot June day in the ‘80’s when I was involved in a spontaneous water fight with my middle school classmates. We didn’t have water balloons or squirt guns—we went to the water fountain, filled our mouths with as much water as possible and spit at each other. While I know our reaction in 2020 to this behavior is “That is so gross!”, it was a ton of fun, involved a lot of laughter and it helped us cool down during outdoor recess on a sweltering day prior to returning to our unairconditioned classrooms. As an adult, I can say that was definitely gross— period— but back then, we didn’t know better. We were more interested in having fun than with our own health. And we were not in the middle of a pandemic.
Times have changed. Today, the school yard conduct of yesteryears would result in justifiably apoplectic parents. It makes sense that we need to change how we physically interact. I wonder what changes in workplace culture are here to stay when the pandemic is history. Maybe we will be less brazen and more thoughtful about touching, because touching may have unintended consequences at work. I am ok with that. It’s about time.