6. Wild animals thriving
As people sheltered in place around the world to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, reports have surfaced about animals appearing in areas where they were not usually seen. Sea lions have been seen sunning themselves in parking lots in Argentina; jaguars prowling city streets in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; and goats running roughshod in a Welsh village.
The International Bio-Logging Society is conducting a global study using data from camera traps and other tracking devices to see if wild animals really are shifting their ranges during the global lockdown. The results may not be available for a couple of years.
7. Cleaner mass transit
The coronavirus pandemic has kept people at home for months. Mass transit ridership has significantly declined — in some places by as much as 95%. In New York City, which has the largest transit systems in North America, ridership has dropped by 60% on the subways and by 90% on commuter railways, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Once people start using trains and buses again, they will see them much cleaner. Transit agencies all over the country have instituted mandatory frequent cleaning that include disinfecting high-touch areas like handholds, turnstiles, ticket vending machines to limit the spread of the virus.
8. Working remotely no longer frowned upon
Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced offices to close down, sending employees to work from home, companies had started ending remote work partially because employers didn’t think employees were as productive at home as at the office. Even some large organizations, including Yahoo! when CEO Marissa Mayer took the helm, pulled their formerly flexible workforces back into the office.
Though offices are opening up in some states, people are still strongly encouraged to work remotely. Some big companies are even considering permanently switching to telework, while others simply will allow people to work remotely if that’s what they prefer.
9. Cleaning services are booming
People are thinking about cleaning their homes a lot more often than before the pandemic. There has been an increased demand for cleaning services. Some companies have even hired more workers to meet the demand. A popular service requested is deep cleaning, which usually involves cleaning the windows from the inside and the outside, cleaning and disinfecting kitchen appliances including fridge, microwave, and garbage disposal, and clean light fixtures.
10. Essential workers get a raise
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted who the real essential workers are — and in some cases, such as grocery store clerks, orderlies, and food service employees, they are not very well paid. Canada is already planning to spend more than $3 billion and raise wages of essential workers making less than about $1,800 a month. The U.S. Congress is talking about increasing the minimum wage for essential workers as well. However, lawmakers have so far failed to pass a bill for a hazard pay raise.