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Will a COVID-19 vaccine save us from a permanent new normal? Show more Show less
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The Pfizer announcement has renewed hope that the new normal will soon be lifted. Meanwhile, Oxford University says its own vaccine might be ready before the end of the year. What will this mean for 2021? Can we go back to our lives before the pandemic, or are masks and social distancing here to stay?

A vaccine will allow us to go back to our normal lives Show more Show less

A COVID-19 vaccine will reduce the risks of contagion and lives will go back to a pre-pandemic normality. Social distancing will no longer be necessary and people will return to the office.
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We will go back to the office

A vaccine will allow us to return to our usual schedules and routines. Public transport, our morning coffee and office desk will once again become the norm.
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The Argument

As we hear good news from vaccine trials, many look forward to days when going back to the office is no longer farfetched. As the first wave of cases subsided in many nations over the summer months, offices tentatively reopened. There was an increased awareness of space and a stronger emphasis on health and safety protocols, but viable solutions were found[1]. Working from home is not effective for many workers. There are jobs which require in-person attention and equipment which cannot be accessed outside of labs or a workspace. A vaccine will allow these workers to resume near pre-pandemic levels of normality. Furthermore, technology is struggling to replace in-person communication. Why, when all these resources at our disposal, did we continue to go on business trips? Or have in-person client and group meetings? Only when we were unable to meet and speak in person did we resort to wide spread technological methods of communication.

Counter arguments

It is unlikely that we will see the same work environment and office culture we had before the pandemic. Even before 2020, we had begun to see a trend towards more flexible working, with some companies offering staff the option to work from home a couple of days a week[2]. The pandemic has only sped up this transition to telework.


Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 13:33 UTC

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