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5 things that will never be the same once COVID-19 is gone from our lives

You’re on the way to your friend’s crib after a long day. Your backpack sits next to you stuffed to the brim with the essentials. And by essentials, of course I mean the piff and all of its necessary complementary ingredients. A few minutes later, you see your friend at the door and he lets you inside.

“Too bad that concert got canceled man, I was really looking forward to it,” they say.

You do nothing but grimace.

After a day of canceled plans, coming off a week of miserable travel experiences, you want to hunker down on the couch and watch something. Smoke some trees. Tell your friend what you’ve been going through.

But they pull out their own bud, and you do the same. The visible barrier between your two cyph spaces is glaringly evident. As you take that first puff out of the delicious honey berry backwood, you take a breather and look at all that’s around you: Emptiness.

COVID-19 has pulled up and shaken the world. Things have calmed down since that fateful Spring, and in many respects life is good. But it’s different. Wildly different. And you can’t help but realize, things will never be the same again.

No more daps

Perhaps the saddest realization of all, is that dapping up your homies and homegirls will never be the same again. That firm embrace that in many cases embodies a friendship will be put to the test.

Because after months and months of social distancing and no physical contact, how can we fully trust again?

You dap up your squad, but some hands are clammy. The ones that aren’t are a bit soft. The same level of energy you used to get when you entered the room isn’t there anymore. Jarring, yes. Depressing, of course, but eventually this will be the norm. Head nods and shoe shakes. God save us all.

Public functions are getting dubbed

For the privileged, for the fortunate that are able to socially distance, and hunker down in our cribs and wait this out, the most frustrating effect of the coronavirus is all public functions being shut down.

Can’t hit up the movie theater or broadway at night. Can’t hit up the museum during the day. Can’t hit a restaurant, a concert, a bar, or even a m*****f****** park since everyone wants to flock to the outdoors.

Yeah, COVID-19, unless some unforeseen developments present themselves, has its end in sight. China’s recovery should inspire hope across the globe.

But the shutting down of all businesses deemed non-essential, and all public areas from social gatherings sets a precedent for businesses to shut down at any resurgence. No longer will it feel strange if Kanye has to cancel his concert at Barclays. Or if your favorite restaurant goes MIA for a weekend.

We will recover, but things will be drastically different. Public functions, in their reliability and consistency, may never be what we once knew them to be again.

Bring your own piff to the cyph

A big feature of lighting up with your friends is the communal vibe. You’re talking, laughing, musing, passing around some gas. I’d even make the not-so-outrageous assumption that for some people, the vibes of the cyph are even more important to them than the actual weed smoke entering their lungs.

But with this coronavirus and its consequential making of everyone into germaphobes (rightly I may add), passing around the shared piff may be but a distant memory.

Something from a half-remembered dream (Inception music blares in the background).

Jokes aside, it’s going to be odd smoking communally again. Your best friend? Sure, you light up together. A few of your really close friends? Yeah.

But your friend’s cousin who just got to town?

Nahhhh. Fam I’ll give you the plug’s number and you can cop something for yourself.

Traveling is even more stressful

Anyone who’s been in an airport of any kind knows the stress and confusion that goes on when people are looking to travel. And if you’ve been in JFK, Laguardia, LAX or any other major airport, well you know that sh** ramps up 100 notches.

Now imagine the restrictions that are going to be implanted after COVID-19 is mitigated. Imagine the scurrying of travelers to airports once they know things are safe? Finna look like a field of churchmice running when they hear a noise at the door.

Everyone “needs” and “deserves” a getaway after this, right? Well, that’s going to affect pricing, delays, security, basically, everything that makes the airline business a hemorrhage in the body of the modern world. And we all just know TSA is going to find a new way to make life miserable for us.

We’re not pessimists here at the Hub, just realists. All I’m saying is keep an eye out for this and act accordingly.

Emphasis on preservation

Not all effects of COVID-19 will be negative. For those of us that will be able to recover financially, medically, and spiritually, this time of reflection at home will make us kinder, more self-aware people. It will help us unify and understand what really matters: our protection and preservation.

And preservation boils down to maintenance and proper treatment of Mother Earth.

China, the world leader in pollution, emitted 25 percent less carbon in a four-week stretch than the same period last year. Satellite data has shown pollution plummet all across the Earth, reminding us of an indistinguishable truth: we are the cause of the Earth’s deterioration.

Hopefully, with this data and analysis, big corporations will wise up and stop increased rates of pollution and emitting so much carbon. And if they don’t, there will be more people to rise up in resistance.

We will emerge from COVID-19 into a changed world.

We’ll pop outside the crib for the first time in a while, likely as new people. We’ll emerge understanding what will be different, and what we can all do to make the world a better place. Coronavirus will not have defeated us.

We are strong, stronger than we ever know individually. We must unite together to secure a just and safe world for our grandchildren.