With the Summer months approaching, flu season on the decline and the flattening of the virus spread beginning to occur across the country our elected officials, businesses and citizens are beginning to plan out their lives in the “New Normal”. I wouldn’t say I’m a germaphobe, but I’ve always practiced good hygiene to prevent myself from getting sick.
We are embarking on a period where germaphobia will be the new normal. I’m not a practicing scientist, doctor or anthropologist for that matter, but I believe after the Spanish Flu, all citizens of the world took additional protective steps to avoid the spreading of viral infections and other diseases for many years to follow. We are likely going to experience the same.
Friends and acquaintances will handshake and hug less, lines in stores will have more spacing, new technologies will be marketing that measures body temperature in public gathering spaces, airports and sports venues, and customer will become observant of their surroundings, the establishments they frequent and the steps business are taking to instill confidence and trust.
We pose the question in our company, How Clean is Clean? In the new normal, clean will refer not just to what you can see, but equally important the harmful microorganism you cannot see.
It wasn’t long ago that you use to have to pay for WiFi at a hotel or coffee shop, now you make the decision of where you stay when you travel and what coffee shop you frequent based on free WiFi (and quality of the coffee, as I grimace through the coffee I made myself this morning, I can’t wait for Storyville to reopen).
We will look for the same in the businesses and establishments we select in the future. There will be the employee with the white uniform and spray bottle in hand but expect new technology to play an important role. Like free WiFi we will seek out restaurants that switch to cashless transactions. The hotels that advertise room sterilization after each visitor, and the clothing retailer that use UV-C to scan the clothes at the fitting rooms. Whether it’s a casino, stadium, concert hall, salon, fitness center, and countless other businesses, every place where people gather will be viewed as a possible location for germs to spread.