Welcome to the No-Touch economy

This is the first of many blogs on the subject. But from what I read Covid19 is here to stay, and even after flattening the curve, testing us all for antibodies, cautiously returning to work, everything we do will be different, with the underlying principles of:

  1. Less inter-personal contact.
  2. More sanitation rules.

There will be changes, everywhere.

The MinPres asked us to cut our airco consumption this weekend, and open windows instead.  And I asked myself whether GOA is doing everything in its power to turn lights off and conserve energy in its numerous buildings and facilities, to cut waste.

Why not open windows in Parliament?

Because of the dress code, suits, and dresses. Note the MinFec always wears a shawl because she is cold in her overly-chilled office. So first change on the agenda? The dress code in Parliament, get rid of the cheap suits, introduce cotton, short sleeve shirts and blouses. Welcome back, dear guayabera, we missed your sexy presence. Who thought the so-called formal format is appropriate for Caribbean island wear? That was so mid 20thcentury thinking, when third-world leaders wanted to look like first-world bosses.

In the immediate world of tomorrow, we will be leaving our houses wearing disposable masks and gloves, and we will change them frequently. Note the word disposable. Don’t re-use.

Many of us will be working at home, doing everything digitally.

(Setar just told me I had to present personally at their branch with my ID to upgrade my WIFI package, from Comfort to Advance. NO, I can’t do it on line, they need to see my ID to prevent fraud. Such misguided dedication to service. If your WIFI hadn’t been so slow, I wouldn’t have to upgrade, duh.)

The banks will get rid of their massive real estate holdings in favor of drive thru tellers, with just one glass protected window.

Schools? What will the schools of the immediate future look like? Certainly not like the petri dishes of today.  

Airline companies won’t be allowed to cram us like sardines, they will be leaving plenty of room between passengers and will probably take our temperature before boarding. Sure, air travel cost will increase, but with the price of fuel plunging, they should be able to offer improved service for the same charge.

I understand restaurants with forward-thinking owners are converting their community tables into deuces. When community tables first came around I though those where so cool, they are a no-no now, discarded in favor of booths, at a distance, we will not be allowed to sit on top of each other and the Flying Fishbone will finally have to cull tables, and return things to the way they were, 6 feet apart.

On recent flights to Europe with KLM I have repeatedly complained to myself, about how small the personal space has become on board. I believe last Fall I even wrote to KLM, protesting the cramming on board. So we needed a pandemic in order to prove that point, that people need air.    

In the immediate world of tomorrow all experiences will be redesigned. How will we experience a spa at the age of pandemics? Massage? Pedi? Mani? How will that service in close proximity, be handled? The hair dresser?

Of course I am thinking in that direction, because I am overdue for color, and am living to go back to the carefree days where I would just call the spa at Tierra del Sol and shimmy over to see Olgita Linda, who was a trailblazer, regularly wearing a face mask, while doing my nails.

Sitting across the bar, from a bartender? The space now must be redesigned to extend 6 feet. Checking into a hotel room that has just been vacated, No, No, it takes 24 hours between guests to clean!

We already know a bit about the shopping experience 6 feet apart, plus hand sanitizers. Just when I felt I could get rid of Clorox in favor of a more environmentally-friendly substance, it made a comeback.

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April 11, 2020
Rona Coster