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DENVER -- A couple of weeks ago, Denver7 aired a special 360 report on what our lives may look like on the other side of the pandemic.
Our original story focused a lot on how much more mindful we will be on the other side of the pandemic. Mindful of our spending and consuming - more appreciative of life, employment and companionship. And we heard from so many people who wanted to add to the list of things that would change after this.
Here's what you had to say.
Jean sent us a lovely thank you note and added, "I don't think i will ever shake hands again. I also used to hug my friends, I'll also reconsider that."
We certainly understand Jean. And I'm sure her friends will, too.
Several of you pointed out our omission of the environmental benefits.
With less production and travel, there are fewer pollutants being emitted. Experts now expect a 5% reduction in global carbon emissions from fossil fuel this year. That would be the biggest drop on record. We've seen plenty of anecdotal evidence of this including the suddenly clear canals of Venice full of visible sea life. And is it just me or do we have a clearer view of the mountains lately?
The pandemic could change urban design.
Cities, including Denver, have closed some streets to vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians safe passage as we all practice good social distancing during this time. This gives us a taste of what our cities would look like if they were designed for people instead of cars. Maybe we'll like it? In addition to reduced carbon emissions, walking and biking places have benefits of their own.
Another viewer hopes this will lead to more of our stuff being "American made." We recently did a separate 360 report on that.
A disruption like this to the global supply chain has made it tough to get some of the goods we're used to getting. In theory, that wouldn't be such a problem if those goods were made here. Would we give up inexpensive products made by cheap labor overseas in exchange for more things made in the good ol' USA?
A lot of you mentioned masks. At least for now, mask culture is part of our culture. In many Asian countries, wearing a face mask has always just been what you do during a health crisis. And viewer Josh is not happy that America will look more like Asia now.
In the few weeks since our first story aired, we've seen an acceleration in the political divide over re-opening businesses.
There have been rallies across the country, including here in Denver, protesting the stay-at-home orders, calling the shutdowns government overreach needlessly crippling our economy. Many people also told us they prevented them from providing for their families. President Trump even tweeted encouragement of such protests. Denver7 viewer Tim adds, "There is no doubt that our civil liberties will be seriously diminished and government control over our private lives increased" after our new normal is over.
Our first story pointed out the likely increase of online education since students seem to be figuring out how to take their school classes at home online. But Dale sees a reduced role for teachers on the other side of this and expects a surge in homeschooling - cutting out the middle man, as it were.
Andrea wanted to make sure we weren't just viewing the post-pandemic world through rose-colored glasses. She writes, "Before the "recovery" period happens we need to prepare for the increase in depression and grief plus an increase in suicides that may/will happen. Mental health is a factor now but the lasting effects must be addressed by all of us - cities, the state, churches, schools, even mass media such as television stations."
Tim Flanagan's take is likewise grim but understandable. He says, "You forgot to mention unemployment, homelessness, addiction, suicide, domestic violence, anger at elected officials, increased violence and crime, and distrust."
And finally, like many of us, Kirsten has a new appreciation for technology. She writes, "Why did it take a pandemic for me to regularly video chat with my parents and my grandma? Why haven’t my best friends from college been doing video chats for the last decade?" And she included a screen grab from a video chat with her family in which her retired Green Beret father walked into view while she and her mom were playing with filters.
What else did we miss? How do you think our lives will change because of all this?