While coronavirus has impacted the entire world, the biggest changes in people’s lives will be with those who live in larger cities. Living in crowded spaces, and many times with multiple roommates gives a virus such as coronavirus a chance to spread like wildfire. Coronavirus gets passed through moisture particles from the nose and mouth and infects a separate person through those same cavities, with an addition of the eyes. This causes many issues. However, these issues can be contained by everyone wearing a mask in all public spaces and by the social distancing of at least six feet from anyone else. Things are changing for good everywhere in the world. Here are seven ways why living in a city will be forever changed.
7. Social Distancing
You cannot argue that density can contribute significantly to the spread of coronavirus. Because of the population density in big cities, they are affected the most in both the social and economic aspects. This will be changing for most population-dense cities, with some people flocking to the outskirts and rural areas. Leaving the city is unnecessary, though, as rural areas are no safer than limiting social interactions and staying at home. However, if you’re not someone that enjoys staying home, you may be one of those who ends up fleeing the big city. The result will be a decrease in population density, which will allow for more social distancing.
6. Wait Times and Reduced Retail Shops
Another thing that will change is the wait times for physically entering stores. Stores have cut down the number of people allowed to be in a store at one time. They are counting heads while you count minutes standing outside, waiting to get in. All stores are doing this, from retail stores to your local grocery store. Your shopping experience will now be forever different. You will go to fewer stores and will be in and out instead of browsing around. Many retail stores are going to close as people lessen their shopping to make absolutely necessary trips. This is because nobody wants to wait outside for 30 minutes to get into a store where they are not sure they even want to buy anything.
5. More Social Businesses
If there is anything coronavirus has taught us, it’s that social centers, such as bars and restaurants, are more essential than ever to people’s mental well-being. While retail shops are having a rough time getting people in, the opposite is true for restaurants. People are eager to get out of the house in safe ways, and there is nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal out with friends. These types of businesses also include self-care places such as salons, gyms and massage parlors. With the rise in people looking to get out of their homes, these businesses will flourish.
4. More Outdoor Space
Coronavirus has affected cities to the point of needing to be restructured. This shift will include more outdoor public spaces. Whether it’s a playground, dog park, green space, or bike trails, outdoor space will be crucial to keeping cities thriving. People are social and active creatures who are not meant to be cooped up inside for long periods of time. It is essential to have the ability to safely interact with others in a way that doesn’t involve a crowded indoor area.
3. Drop-in Corporate Structures
More companies than ever before, allow their staff to work from home and see the economic benefits of this. Companies are noticing that it’s unnecessary to keep an eye on their employees for work to get done. Most people enjoy the satisfaction of challenging work and will stay on track and on schedule to get things done. They also notice that with more people working from home, there is less need to pay for a corporate building. This saves the company money on rent, electricity, water, etc. It also helps many people’s mental well-being since they don’t have to spend time commute to work, money on clothes and make-up, or even waking up extra early to get ready before going into work.
2. More Social-Aid Groups
Communities have come together in many urban areas to support one another at this time. People have stepped up in helping the most vulnerable people affected by coronavirus. They have put together neighborhood food banks and other basic necessities. There have been multiple donations of meals to people who have lost their job and to children who won’t be getting that hot meal at school anymore. While coronavirus has negatively impacted the most entitled people in the world, it has also given way to some of the most charitable. A stronger sense of community has been created within cities that generally make you feel nameless in a sea of bodies. Private hospitals are being pressured to open up beds without charging extra for them, and in Los Angeles, homeless people are being allowed (somewhat) to seize empty and vacant homes.
1. Cities Will Survive
After this list, you probably think that people will flee cities for good, huh? However, many viruses and infectious diseases have ravaged the world before, targeting cities just as coronavirus has done, and they have always bounced back. From the black plague that ravaged Europe to the Spanish Flu that killed 50 million people worldwide, cities have always handled these types of diseases. London, Tokyo, New York City, Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt and many other large cities have survived infectious diseases and are still thriving. Although not everyone will be in the mindset of living in a city once this pandemic has settled, studies show that cities are growing and will continue to grow to 2050. This is because cities are the economic lifeblood of most nations.
Also, even though cities may be at the epicenter of this virus, suburbs are no safer than large cities. “Meanwhile, rural and exurban areas have their own unique health challenges. For one, new zoonotic pathogens frequently emerge in pastoral places where humans come into contact with animals. And in the U.S. (and many other countries), rural populations are relatively older, making them more at risk for falling seriously ill from Covid-19.” The Bloomberg City Lab stated. Cities also tend to benefit from higher vaccination rates, lending itself to more “herd immunity.” This coupled with the fact that rural areas have fewer resources for hospitals and other infectious disease centers leave rural regions more vulnerable than highly disciplined cities.