What we should keep post-pandemic

These lessons from the quarantine era made our lives richer, healthier and more meaningful. Here's what to hold on to after Covid.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Each day it grows a little closer, a little brighter. With each shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, we are hopefully getting nearer to the end of social distancing and isolation, to schools and businesses and homes reopening.

Of course, though the world might become more familiar, it won’t return to being exactly as it was. And that’s partly a good thing. While there’s much to mourn from the past year, there’s also a lot to celebrate — a lot of experiences and lessons that made our lives richer, healthier, more compassionate, more meaningful. 

It became clearer that we should do more to protect and appreciate the people we interact with on a daily basis, even as we make sure to respect their boundaries. That we shouldn’t take for granted the ones we love but don’t see enough — and that maybe we should rethink our living arrangements, or at least our use of technology, to be closer to them. That we should embrace the fresh air around us when dining and working. And that we should be aware of how fleeting our time is so we make the most of it.  

These are the things we want to keep as we move past the pandemic.

Wearing mask

Megan Ranney

We should keep wearing masks when we're sick. Protection is smart, not scary.

Christina Wyman

We should keep respecting personal boundaries and not forcing people to hug us

Hands touching

Frontline workers


We should keep our newfound class consciousness — and not abandon essential workers

rachel pomerance berl

We should keep holding virtual parties to celebrate with loved ones around the world

Hand holding cupcake with birthday candle

Outdoor dining set up with umbrella and takeout containers

deanna fox

We should keep all-season outdoor dining. Restaurant culture is more than just being inside.

samhita mukhopadhyay

We should keep a willingness to move back in with our parents. Independence doesn’t define success.

Mother and daughter hugging through a window next to door


meredith bennett-smith

We should keep going for walks in the middle of the day (no destination needed)

maggie mulqueen

We should keep an awareness of our mortality. It’s what helps us hold on to what’s meaningful.

Hand reaching towards a tunnel of light with falling leaves

Illustrations: Anjali Nair and Chelsea Stahl

Art Director: Chelsea Stahl

Development: Robin Muccari