Covid-19 has brought the world to a standstill. Malls and theatres are closed, restaurants are empty, gyms are shut and hugs & kisses are a thing of the past. Had the idea of welcoming a global pandemic struck us, we’d have thought a hundred times before spending thousands on the designer dress for a New Year party. Also, coy introverts are giggling at their not-so-coy peers (who are desperately waving and talking to anything that moves).

Governments all over the world are encouraging social distancing. Although this is a temporary measure, the effects will be seen long after the virus has waned. Less people would be interested in concerts; dating would be complicated (do you kiss or not?); common cold would raise alarms and everyone would certainly become MasterChefs (I can make a better grilled cheese sandwich than Gordon Ramsay).

As billions of people continue with social distancing, I see unprecedented changes in how we interact with each other and the world. Work from home (WFH) is the only practical way to work; we finally realize that handling family and work is not a cake walk; also, people are prioritizing themselves and their loved ones. This outbreak has filled us with immense gratitude towards our families and homes.

Our entire race is shifting into an entirely new lifestyle. And, unlike the slow and quiet changes of the past, it is fast and loud. All of us are in pain (no vacations for a year?!), the future looks uncertain (goodbye, early retirement!) and humans are scared of humans (talk about a dystopian film!). These changes are seeping into the food we eat (home-cooked), people we choose to reconnect with (no toxic ex-boyfriends) and what we wear.

PJs have become our best friends. Staying in is synonymous to wearing them and people are loving it. The only negative is the psychological effect they have on us. Fashion is an extension of our feelings and personality. The phrase “we are what we wear” is true. PJs make us lazy and sleepy. WFH allows us to choose from a vast wardrobe but PJs are a big no-no. So, what do we wear? People have come up with pages on Instagram where ‘self-isolators’ share their most fabulous outfits. It’s a prismatic page with hundreds of ideas. In the age of social media, workwear is propelling towards the same direction.

Suits are a thing of the past. The modern workplaces (pre-outbreak) did not demand it. Now, it is obvious that they are a dying breed. Athleisure is gaining popularity and it can be our suit in the future. Other potential candidates for the race are leggings, pyjama shirts, sweatshirts, loungewear and slippers (results to be out in a couple of years). Also, there is less make-up and travel involved during WFH. The future doesn’t look that bad, does it?

Now to the most important apparel of social distancing: Masks. Alan Walker knew we’d be in this pandemic; he had been preparing for years. Fashion lovers are designing their own masks and the customizations with colours & metals are fascinating. Google “face masks” and you will be directed to millions of pages and photos. It is a fashionistas’ delight.

Social distancing might go on for years. On the positive, though, the planet is healing. Water is cleaner, the air is clearer, there are more birds chirping on trees, even the ozone layer is recovering. The planet is a hostile place and if we do not take care of it, the undying human race might cease to survive. It is an opportunity to produce less waste and stop exploitation of resources. We need to pick better ethical values in all aspects of life. Only then, can we have a chance of living hand-in-hand with nature.

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