Things the pandemic might destroy forever

We’re in the planning and negotiation stage of a bathroom redo. It has expanded to replacing the old wallpaper in our master bedroom. My wife asked me about color preference for the paper, but there’s a snag. The only place left in this town to buy wallpaper has put all its sample books on quarantine “Because COVID-19.”

Wallpaper has been slowly dying out in recent years, but this might be the final dagger to the heart. You can’t buy wallpaper over the internet, she says, because dye lots change, and you have to actually lay eyes on the product to know what colors you’re getting.

Handshakes are probably gone forever, and I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to greeting people outside the immediate family with hugs.

I coined a new substitute for the hug.

This is ridiculous. Even the black death didn’t kill handshakes.

Right, but the pet rat breeding industry has never recovered.

That may be her preference, but it’s not factually true that you can’t order online. A quick google shows many options.

I don’t think this will be the case. Once an effective vaccine has been administered widely and cases pretty much fade away, handshakes will definitely return. Frankly, I’m OK with fewer hugs. I find them more awkward than not. It would be nice if people remained more diligent about hand-washing, but I don’t hold out much hope for that.

What will be gone forever are specific businesses that just couldn’t hang on. Like the BBQ place near us that we really liked.

Forever is a long time. Kinda like the Wedding Scene in The Deer Hunter.

“Can’t” in this context is shorthand for “absolutely shouldn’t”. It’s like saying you can’t mix white and dark laundry in a single load: it’s definitely possible, but you won’t like the results.

I would love to see handshaking gone forever, but if not, at least it will be understandable for people to decline to shake hands.

Miniature Golf is less than 100 years old, & has taken a downturn, in recent years.
Might not rebound.
:golf: :no_entry_sign:

Not really ridiculous, on the Appalachian Trail for thru hikers, the fist bump replaced a handshake due to several seasons of Nora virus that have infected the thru hikers for several seasons in a row. It is now the common greeting that thru hikers are now comfortable with and somewhat uncomfortable with a handshake.

Not that they are directly equatable, as hikers have limited opportunities to wash their hands, but in society hand shaking was already recommended against for a while before Coronavirus happened. People are more aware of the transmission of ‘germs’ and a alternative to a handshake may stick. So I would say it’s not ridiculous at all, though not assured either, but a reasonable possibility, but only a possibility.

My thoughts exactly. I believe I’ll leave the handshake behind.

I saw an article that suggested that schools would no longer have snow days, that because they’ve learned how to do distance learning that they’d do that in the future instead of having kids have the day off. I’m skeptical, though. Teachers have to plan for distance learning and probably can’t get their online lessons set up for an unscheduled snow day. Probably for a single snow day, the teachers would just catch up when the kids are back in school. But when I was a kid, we have a storm or two where the schools were closed for a week, and in those case, the teachers might start online lessons.

Again, it would seem to be a preference. I saw a lot of online wallpaper stores. It would be odd for them to exist if no one did it.

I think that a lot of office jobs that have gone to telecommuting will not be going back to the office. I don’t see this as a bad thing, mostly. I certainly don’t mind that the traffic has been much better these last several months.

Restaurants and catering that depend on the office crowd, however, may not fare as well. The catering job I had over a decade ago is struggling something fierce, and will likely be out of business soon (if not already, I haven’t talked to them in like a month.)

Restaurant and food service have a hard time in the best of times. These are not the best of times.

Yeah, I spent 20 years dreaming of opening my own restaurant.

Went a different direction, always with just a touch of regret, even though it’s been pretty successful.

When the pandemic hit, I was pretty happy that I ended up where I am, rather than where I thought I wanted to be.

One thing that’s not going anywhere in this pandemic is dog grooming. Easy enough to manage social distancing, most of the time we do curbside pickup/drop off (though that may become less fun as cold weather sets in), and many people were encouraged during the lockdown to get a dog.

How about free samples? I miss the bounty of free samples at Costco; some days it would substitute for lunch.

Re: buying wallpaper online, how hard is it to just mail a sample to someone considering a particular patten but concerned about color matching?

I wonder about buffets and movie theaters. I also wonder about a very specific sub-group of an industry: liveaboard dive boats in California. Between the fire that killed all the passengers on the Conception last year and now this, those crowded bunkrooms that make the business model economically feasible here aren’t looking so good. But all these operations run day trips (currently at reduced capacity) and they’re selling out. Lots of people here who used to only go scuba diving in the tropics are getting into local diving now, so even if the overnights become a thing of the past, the dive industry as a whole seems to be doing OK.

In March, I wasn’t taking the direct threat of the virus very seriously. I worried that people would panic and that would harm the economy and ruin a lot of people’s lives, but I never imagined a seven-figure death toll. Turns out I was wrong on both counts; if anything, people aren’t panicking enough, and businesses that have no business being open are booming. It’s monstrous that we’ve chosen this path, but hey, a lot fewer businesses will fail than I would’ve expected even without realizing how bad the virus was, so… silver lining? Ugh.

The color matching in this case isn’t with existing things in the house but between individual rolls of wallpaper. While they should have a lot number, there’s no guaranteeing that an online order is going to match them, or notice if two rolls in the same lot don’t actually have the exact same color shades.

I’ll miss salad bars if they don’t survive.