While many are eager to see restrictions lifted, the World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned people to prepare for a 'new normal' as lockdown restrictions ease. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Life after lockdown

Thermal scanners at theme parks, wearing masks in public and constant tracking of people’s whereabouts through apps and credit card data are markers of the new post-pandemic world in the country.

DURBAN – Much of the world has been under some form of lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. While many are eager to see restrictions lifted, the World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned people to prepare for a ‘new normal’ as lockdown restrictions ease.

“People would need to become accustomed to a “new reality”. Some form of facial protection, I’m sure, is going to become the norm, not least to give people reassurance,” said Dr David Nabarro, WHO’s Covid-19 envoy. 

South Korea ended its stringent social distancing policies Wednesday after halting the spread of the coronavirus. Thermal scanners at theme parks, wearing masks in public and constant tracking of people’s whereabouts through apps and credit card data are markers of the new post-pandemic world in the country.

South Korea conducted an aggressive campaign of early detection and contact-tracing, in which over 1 million tests have been conducted since the first incident of the virus in late January. The result has been a death toll of only 255 people among a population of over 51 million.

Schools have been reopened in Denmark for younger students with a set of rules which include; distancing children’s desks, disinfecting toys, playing in groups of two or three and prohibiting the sharing of food.

“Most people seemed to see the move as a sign that the public-health threat posed by Covid-19 was subsiding. They flocked outdoors on the subsequent weekend to enjoy the spring weather, jogging and gathering in small groups in parks and public spaces,” said Merlin Schaeffer, a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Beijing and Shanghai also reopened classes for older students with both teachers and students wearing face masks. After the Chinese government lifted the 76-day lockdown on Wuhan on Wednesday, Chinese social media platforms quickly filled with videos capturing snarled traffic across the city. Many people whimsically described the traffic jams following two months of empty streets as “the familiar Wuhan.”

While factories around Wuhan are working around the clock to get back up to speed. Media reports say people are cautiously taking to the streets again. Residents are encouraged to stay home and to continue having their temperatures checked before entering any building. 

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