After scary Covid warnings by almost every agency for the last two years, there’s finally some good news, the World Health Organization said — ‘that an end is in sight for Covid. It’s a relief to people wanting to go back to the ‘old ways’ but like many predicted since the pandemic, a lot that has changed will stay on.

The pandemic created billionaires out of two teenagers, who banked on the people wanting to order groceries online. Why didn’t I think of it?

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
The pandemic created billionaires out of two teenagers in grocery businessGiphy

What has changed, though, is a lot more people have stopped wearing masks as public health experts suggest that COVID-19 has become endemic in India.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
People have stopped wearing mask in public placesBCCL

But looking beyond the obvious, here are some things which won’t end even after COVID does.

Revenge shopping and tourism

Revenge shopping continues to remain strong 30 months after India entered its first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

According to a Business Insider India report, online festival sales that Amazon, Flipkart and other retailers are running could touch nearly $12 billion – an increase of 28% over pre-pandemic levels.

Apparently, people have enough money on their hands and don’t know of better ways to spend it.

People like WFH – and so does the PM

The pandemic has made work from home-ers out of everyone. Now, that people have gotten used to working while lying down and chopping vegetables during Zoom calls — they don’t wanna go back.

Companies are, however, trying to drag them and it’s gonna be a slow process. Three out of four companies however are considering going hybrid – but India Inc remains divided on the aspect.

One thing is for certain, though – WFH is here to stay, even if companies continue to crack down on moonlighting. And it’s got the blessings of PM Modi himself who said it’s a good idea to bring more women into the workforce.

Rich get richer, and they hate the poor people moonlighting

Thanks to the many stimulus packages, the rich got richer across the world — creating pandemic billionaires like India’s own Gautam Adani — who added ₹1,612 crore to his wealth every day in the last year.

The pandemic was tougher on daily wagers and depleted the savings of many lower middle class and middle class people too. Their situation won’t change soon and neither will the gap between the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
Migrant labourers during first wave of COVID/BCCL

Psst psst – there were also pandemic salary cuts – some were re-instated and some weren’t. The inflation however grew at a sharp place forcing people to take up side hustles and more.

And no, no, the rich don’t like it when their employees moonlighting to make some more. Rishad Premji recently fired 300 employees who were found doing second jobs after slugging it out 9-5 for Wipro.

Children lose 2 trillion hours of in-person schooling – and immunity

What about the kids? Staying indoors for two years – was trying for parents and kids alike.

It’s not just the play time that the kids lost. They lost two precious years of learning too, especially poorer kids who couldn’t get online. A UNICEF report states that globally, 2 trillion hours of in-person schooling were lost.

Another UNESCO report says that the learning levels of children is lower as nearly 1 in 3 parents said they couldn’t support their child’s learning. And they will take a long time to catch up.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
Children lose 2 trillion hours of in-person schooling – and immunity/BCCL

The kids are also weaker health-wise according to experts – especially the kids below 10 years of age. They had spent their immunity building years as they stayed safe indoors, according to a study.

Heart ailments and diabetes cases skyrocket in India

After playing mind games, COVID is also affecting our hearts. The infection has kicked a lot of people into early diabetes and they also face an increased risk of heart ailments, says a study.

The health issues that it has caused the millions it affected, not including those still suffering from long COVID effects – will also stay on.

Demanding movie goers are here to say

Where did people get entertainment during the pandemic? Most governments in fact sent messages asking people to ‘stay home and Netflix’. They did, and OTT subscriptions soared.

As they did so, they got used to layered stories in web series, subtle allegories and more. Now used to the ‘new-age entertainment’, they don’t want to go back to song and dance routine ‘basic’ movies and want something good enough to pull ‘em off their TVs and tabs.

According to analyst reports and trade figures, 15 out of 20 Bollywood movies released in the first half of 2022 have tanked. So much so that producers are confused and Bhushan Kumar of T-Series said there’s confusion among producers and they don’t know what will and will not work.

People want large scale entertainment like RRR, but with a twist. These demanding audiences are not going to go away soon either.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
People want large scale entertainment like RRR, but with a twistTwitter

Smaller weddings

If people don’t want to step out to a theater without a good reason, they aren’t too keen on inviting unwanted people either.

There has been a rush of weddings this year – but because of guest list restrictions and many people not keen on traveling out of town — the Big Fat Indian weddings are smaller. A few millennials and GenZ have caught on this trend too and some prefer it that way.

Your dad can’t force you to invite the damad of your mom’s tauji’s cousin sister anymore.

Condom sales halve, but where are the pandemic babies?

Lack of socializing during COVID lockdowns killed half the sales of condom makers, according to the government’s response to an RTI query recently.

While experts feared this would lead to a baby boom, birth rates in India’s financial capital Mumbai fell in 2021.

Whether it was due to COVID worries or strong pull-out game, either way, experts’ fears did not come true. Here’s hoping that won’t change soon either.

Inflation skyrockets – and central banks are struggling to control it

Inflation has skyrocketed around the world for multiple reasons – the US flooded the markets with an unprecedented amount of dollars, exporting its inflation all over the world.

The supply chain issues worsened the availability of products, while consumers went on a revenue shopping spree post-COVID. This demand and supply imbalance further increased prices – and now central banks all over the world are hiking interest rates to bring inflation under control. That means the cheap home loan party might be over – and it won’t go back soon either.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
Inflation has skyrocketed around the worldGiphy

Supply chain shocks become the norm

Supply chain shocks have become the norm in the post-COVID world. China, the factory of the world, has continued with its stringent “Zero COVID” policy and that has hampered plenty of industries around the world.

SIMPLY PUT: What won’t end even after COVID does?
Car makers like Mahindra are asking their customers to wait for as long as 16 months for cars like XUV 700Wikimedia commons

The semiconductor chip shortage is the most glaring example, and it has not only affected the electronics industry, but also automobiles – some car makers like Mahindra are asking their customers to wait for as long as 16 months for cars like XUV 700.

What is not going to change for you when COVID ends? Here’s hoping your love for getting news online won’t change either!