What will post-pandemic life look like?
Did any of you ever feel that you were sitting at home, but there was a war going on in the world the whole of last year? The pandemic has affected not just aspects of our lives on a physical level, but re-wired aspects of our psyche and will have long-lasting effects. The world has gone through a catastrophic shift, and life has been impacted on several fronts. When one faces death in the face, and also sees people dying alone; it can change the way you look at your life. So, let’s break it down, what is the world really going to look like?
- Gut health will gain centre stage. We saw the gut take its rightful place all-through 2018-2020; however, it will continue to assume more importance, with gut microbiome testing coming in in a more aggressive way and fermented food products growing as a category. Gut health points to strengthening the immune system in the end, which is also the focal point post the pandemic. Also, we first thought of only prebiotics and probiotics; but now the attention will also shift to ‘postbiotics’ (byproducts of the fermentation that goes on in the gut by the gut bacteria probiotics).
- Connecting with your doctors virtually. I feel the post-pandemic world is going to see a shift in the way we engage with our health practitioners. I have consulted online for the last 9 months all over the world in 35 odd countries; and successfully worked with a range of ailments. Meeting clients online, with regularity is going to be the new way of consulting even for doctors. It has also allowed me to see more clients and increased productivity with lesser travel time.
- Diets will be geared toward ‘anti-inflammation.’ This is a term that the Western medicine is now aware off, and doctors in India are also coming to terms with it. ‘Anti-inflammatory foods will be the new way of looking at your diet to prevent disease and the immune system from breaking down. Health practitioners will stress on moderation, adopting a middle-ground towards your diet.
- Trust in the food-space. Businesses that are niche, home-style, local and small will attract more customers. This is a time for safety in the food-space and knowing the owners in the food-space. Home-delivery food services will also see an increase.
- Customers will become savvier while shopping for products. No longer will products that just use ‘buzz word’ in the health space sell, unless they are clean and tested. Just because a product proclaims sugar or gluten free will not be enough. Customers will start examining food labels closely, as that’s the direction they are likely to move in, wanting to be more educated as to what they are eating post the pandemic.
- Older people will need more attention. Older people are going to need more emotional support and may seem to be more depressed. Just remember, they have been socially deprived much more than younger folk, and this is forcing them into a negative space. We must pay more attention to them, post the pandemic. Which means investing more time in them, engaging them in activities, talking to them more, helping them with technology to connect with their siblings, friends and family.
- Alternative medicine will become mainstream. There will be a shift especially in India towards alternative medicine: Ayurveda, naturopathy and homeopathy will become the new normal. People will be more willing to use adaptogens to get over an ailment; for e.g., taking tulsi (holy basil) and using spices (turmeric). We have already seen the use of kadhas (concoction of adaptogens and spices) in the Indian diaspora increasing.
- People following mindfulness and meditation practices will increase. Post pandemic ‘meditation will be the new medicine.’ There will be an increase in the support provided by services from apps, support groups, talks and an online presence of people.
- Online courses will see an increase. This model has proven successful through the pandemic and we will only see a rise in the same; and at lower price points targeting a larger number of people.
- Physical fitness workouts and yoga online. These will continue to stay online for a while. However, once the vaccine is out people will re-group and start getting together for group activities, but this is still going to take time.
- There will be a need to felt to hug and socially interact. We will feel the need to meet and socially interact once again. However, we will meet in smaller groups; smaller (in numbers) retreats and wellness holidays is the need of the hour in the post pandemic scenario.