In the first part of our series, we already presented four trends of the corona pandemic and our forecast for them. Today, we’ll continue with vacations at home, digital schooling, in sweatpants and on the bike to the (home) office, and DIY as a hobby – and the three big questions: what lies ahead, what will disappear and what will stay? Enjoy reading and tell us your opinion!
Text: Alexandra Schröder, Cornelia Theisen, Florian Lehmann, Robert Habi, Roman Scherer; Photography and illustration: Getty Images, Shutterstock, 3st, unsplash (Christian Stahl, Kobu Agency)
Dress code? What dress code?
With the necktie already in retreat pre-pandemic, the year 2020 has dealt a body blow to sartorial graces. Loungewear is on the rise. In the home office, the desire to dress nattily is disappearing. Data analysis company Reply reports that shortly after the pandemic began, fashion interest among the British, Germans, French, Italians and Spaniards was 23 percent down on the previous year. Similar reports have circulated in US and South African media. And in China, one of the most frequently searched hashtags during the Chinese New Year was #OnePajamaForTheWholeDay. You can easily imagine where this is heading.
Prognosis: will stay with us because we won’t be able to repel the virus as fast as our eyes will grow accustomed to the new leisure look.
Vacationers were forced to rethink their plans during the pandemic. Instead of jetting off to distant places, travel took place – if at all – in one’s own country. That meant many people learned to appreciate the benefits of shorter trips. Vacations close to home have the potential to become a trend even beyond the pandemic, a prognosis confirmed by a current survey in Germany, the US and China.
Prognosis: will gather momentum, with a positive side-effect: fewer flights and ocean cruises are good for the climate.
My home is my classroom
What is already commonplace in some countries like Denmark is a monumental task for children, teachers and parents in other parts of the world: digital instruction at home. According to the World Economic Forum in Geneva, ‘home schooling’ will likely have a long-term impact on education. What that translates to, apart from equipping schools and students with technology, is that it will be particularly important to help teachers and educators get in shape for remote instruction and continue to provide all children access to educational opportunities. This is where government policies, above all, are called upon.
Prognosis: will stay and remain a challenge for all involved – but also an opportunity.
Hammers, saws, paintbrushes and rollers: more and more people are diving into creative do-it-yourself projects at home and sinking money into their own four walls. In line with the motto “if the pandemic is going to keep us locked up, then it’s going to be inside a beautiful home”, people are renovating, decorating and fixing-up like never before. In Germany the do-it-yourself industry is recording growth of nearly 15 percent, while shares in US home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have risen by around one-third. In the UK, online purchases of construction and hobby products increased by 50 percent.
Prognosis: will eventually subside. At some point, every room will have a fresh coat of paint.
Advice from the cycologist
Thinking about buying a bicycle in Covid times? Great idea, but next to impossible. On the back of huge demand, the market for two-wheelers has been cleaned out in many countries. In the US, for instance, as many bicycles were sold in April and May 2020 as during the 70s oil crisis. In Europe many people are using bicycles for commuting to work in order to avoid public transportation or to stay active after work. A positive side-effect is that many cities like Brussels, Barcelona and Milan have built new cycle paths on short notice or declared entire downtown areas vehicle-free zones.
Prognosis: will stay because cycling is not only healthy but benefits the environment and frees up space in cities.