The past year has been one filled with new life experiences for many people. We have learned how to wear a mask correctly and gained an instinctive awareness of just how long six feet actually is. It also taught us how to be more resilient and adapt to a new way of living.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global population has spent many months indoors while the scientific community strove to contain it. Spending so much time inside has prompted people to innovate unique ways to work, manage day-to-day tasks, and socialize from the comfort of home.
From trying a new hobby (sourdough breadmaking!) to tackling errands, there isn’t much you can’t do from home these days. Here are seven everyday tasks that you may have never thought to — but now can — do virtually:
Making an in-person trip to the pharmacy during a global pandemic isn’t advisable unless you absolutely cannot avoid it. Thank goodness for online prescriptions that can be delivered to your home.
For example, you can order monthly refillable like birth control online and have them shipped to your door. This option is safe and convenient, and it takes away the stress of potentially missing a dose. Any prescription requiring regular refills can be added to the list and sent straight to you before your current supply runs out.
A pandemic doesn’t change the fact that you may occasionally need to see a doctor. Whether regular health issues need attention or you’re worried you have COVID, you still need a way to visit a health professional.
Telehealth is one of the best ways to see your doctor without leaving home. These face-to-face virtual visits provide a solution for patients and their primary caregivers to stay connected even when separated. While examinations can’t be performed, physicians can talk to their patients about symptoms and treatments until they can meet in person.
Telehealth also covers different types of therapy. Mental health care remains a vital necessity, especially after an extended pandemic. Having at-home access to a therapist is a safe and effective way to keep a level head even on the worst days.
When gyms across the country abruptly closed, individuals in quarantine had to get creative with how they worked out. Many soon discovered, however, that exercising at home by yourself is a challenge. Staying motivated is hard when you’re in the living room solo trying to follow a YouTube video with some dumbbells you got off Craigslist.
Luckily, you can still work out with others, even while separated by long distances. During the first half of 2020, fitness and health app downloads increased by 46%. Part of this surge was due to consumers’ desire to participate in digital workouts hosted by exercise companies. Workouts are an easier sell when offered by an instructor in a motivating class atmosphere. Businesses like home biking company Peloton saw huge spikes in users as people looked for ways to safely work out together.
Do you miss going to concerts or attending live events with your friends? You’re not alone. There’s something about a live show that can’t be emulated by a recording or movie script. The feeling is enjoyable differently, which is why the demand for live events ushered in a new wave of entertainment during COVID-19.
Live events can be found online in many shapes and sizes, from intimate acoustic jam sessions to full-on symphonic performances. The entertainment industry learned to pivot this past year, selling tickets to virtual events or hosting them on network TV. Several annual events converted their productions to online venues to keep traditions alive. You could even watch a magic show through a Zoom call. These online entertainment trends will likely continue as people realize they can get live experiences without crowds, traffic, or expensive concessions.
This one might seem somewhat obvious given the huge wave of remote work that swept the nation along with COVID-19. Nevertheless, there are still some surprises to be found in the work-from-home era. More jobs can be performed remotely than you might ever have thought possible.
Here are just a few examples of WFH jobs you could pursue in today’s business landscape:
- Virtual camp director
- Digital librarian
- Online social worker
- Virtual test proctor
- Website and app tester
There are myriad remote work opportunities available now and more in the works as businesses continue to trend toward digital operations.
Working from home can present some unique challenges for your professional life, particularly about networking. You don’t interact with co-workers as often or in the same way, and client relationships can be harder to form without meeting in person. Yet, there are still ways to expand your network, even if you spend most of your time at home.
Start your digital networking journey by accessing online spaces that connect you with other professionals, like LinkedIn pages, Slack communities, and Clubhouse chat rooms. Polish your writing skills to hold discussions with the business leaders and peers you encounter on these sites. You’ll be able to hold productive conversations and set up calls to further expand your professional network.
Be sure to take advantage of the many professional networking events that are virtually accessible (and sometimes free) in the era of COVID-19. While they have a different feel from in-person events, online lectures and workshops are great ways to learn while meeting new people in your industry.
Online shopping expanded the eCommerce economy by over $174 billion during the lockdown. While everyday consumables like toilet paper and trash bags topped grocery lists, bigger-ticket items like exercise equipment and even cars became eCommerce mainstays.
Did you know that you could buy a car online and have it delivered? Well, you do now, and there are plenty of reasons why you might want to.
When auto dealerships across the country closed for a time during COVID, you were out of luck if you needed new wheels. Ordering a car online, however, was still a possibility. While you can’t test drive the car beforehand, most digital dealerships will deliver the vehicle to your driveway and permit a trial period of a few days. In this way, companies like Carvana and Vroom are revolutionizing the car-buying experience, and just in time.
Whether you are hoping to run some errands or see a live concert, now is the time to give virtual living a try. Maybe the next time you’re stuck inside, you won’t feel so bad knowing how much you can accomplish in your own home. The possibilities will continue to grow as innovation helps humanity overcome the obstacle it faces — even a global pandemic.