As we are into week two being mostly restriction free from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are beginning to see what normal is. Along with government mandates being lifted, within the upcoming time restrictions at the places I frequent are being eased as well. However, I with COVID-19, I feel that it was a teaching moment to the world for several reasons.
One of the most common things it has changes is the regard for establishments to be more sanitized. Besides the multitude of theories of how COVID speculated to be caused, it has made the world aware of the need to be cleaner. Whether or not a person wants to follow those standards personally, that is on them. However, with establishments tightening their disinfection standards because of COVID, it has made the world more aware of the need for cleanliness to become more of a societal standard.
Another feature that has been introduced because of the pandemic is the use of technology to have meetings and conferences that would require persons to travel long distances to attend. As such, yesterday I had a training that I would normally ride in a car over an hour to attend, however, it will be held on the popular teleconferencing platform Zoom. This is also used for a newer term of telehealth which has helped deliver services directly to persons that have barriers to get to a physical location at their convenience such as transportation or scheduling. This delivery service has been needed for some time to both telehealth and teleconference and while they are newer words that were derived pre-COVID, they have become more prevalent because of the pandemic.
Since technology has become improved because of the pandemic, it has also made aware the need to businesses and agencies once lacking features or elements of technology that they did not have, make available to their patrons more feature to make their services more accessible like online applications, social media, websites and so forth in addition to the video conferencing platforms.
I know that there has been a lot of hatred over the past 15 months or so is Universal Masking and Social Distancing. I know these words are very exhausting to hear and are at this point of the pandemic are very mundane to hear. But, to a autistic person, they mean the world. Why? Because of many people who are autistic are sensitive to touch, hugging, etc. Now that it is not to say that all autistics are this way. In fact, there are several autistics that seek sensory input and output by hugging, touching, feeling, etc. I like to get to know the person for some time before I become close with them. It is a happy mix of input and output.
Universal masking, which is totally different from autistic masking has helped me from showing what I am truly expressing in certain given social situations. Although my need to universally mask has decreased due to restrictions being eased to a degree and the world is pretty much without masking in my world. I honestly have to say that for the most part I have not had an issue wearing a mask. As we continue to not mask as often, it becomes more of a struggle when wearing masks, when necessary. In unfavorable weather environments it can be a challenge to want to mask, but in a unusual way it helps from showing emotions that I might not want others to see as a result of my inability to keep unfiltered what I am thinking and saying. It helps, but I must pay the price of the heat rather that be in constant fear of what I might say or do. I know that on day we will be eradicated of the virus, it may not be as sudden as we want, but we will get there and this will definitely be an experience to learn from.