Changing Habits Amid the Pandemic

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2019 seemed like a lifetime ago. Our schedules were packed with events, and late-night midnight snack runs were still the norm. Who knew that everything would change drastically in just a few months? To flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection, many countries have issued measures on social distancing and home quarantine, with places having a high transmission rate implementing a lockdown until cases go down.

The disruption of routine and normality has led to changes in habits and lifestyles, whether one is willing or not. Everyone’s collective experience of going through something unprecedented in the modern world will be hard to erase and can influence future actions and behaviours. According to Accenture, the pandemic accelerated three long-term trends that were already on the horizon—the increased focus on health, rise in conscious consumption and opting to support local products and services. Businesses and brands need to shift their strategies to accommodate these outlooks if they want to survive through the pandemic.

Here are some habits consumers are adopting in the pandemic.

Relying more on online shopping

Given how trips to grocery stores or going outside, in general, can expose one’s risk of contracting the virus, people are growing dependent on e-commerce sites in getting supplies. Their spending habits are concentrated online, buying from hair products and clippers to clothes and gaming consoles. The surge in demand has gotten stores and restaurants struggling to pivot to e-commerce by improving their websites, expanding delivery services and building technology infrastructure.

Shifting to digital consultations

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Businesses have innovated by offering remote consultations and showrooms, making it possible for people to avail of professional services while social distancing. Telemedicine grew in popularity to give patients the support they need through calls, dissuading them from going to the hospital for less serious cases. Some barbers and stylists are offering tutorials on how to cut your hair, with consultations on improving the style if you mess it up. As each day in quarantine passes, going digital is no longer an option but a necessity for both work and leisure.

Levelling up cooking skills

With more time in their hands, people are trying their hand at becoming better home cooks. It started with simple desserts like the Dalgona coffee to making sourdough starters and focaccia bread art. Writer Nisha Chittal from Vox explains that quarantine cooking is more than feeding oneself. Cooking and baking have become outlets for a lot of people to channel their fears and anxieties, providing a way to pass the time and become productive. Both activities give a person a sense of control that is missing through forced social distancing.

Reconnecting more often

Staying connected in quarantine is vital in addressing feelings of loneliness and isolation. People are looking for ways to hang out with their friends and families despite the limitations of distance. This has led to dinners and Friday drinks done through video chatting applications as well as game nights and trivia quiz shows. Others have also found the time and energy to reconnect with people they haven’t talked to for a long time.

The effects of the pandemic in people’s lifestyles will not be easily forgotten or reversed. Habits like relying on e-commerce, shifting to digital, cooking more and reconnecting with friends are here to stay.

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