How the "New Normal" can Increase Accessibility



I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT THE PAST COUPLE MONTHS HAVE TURNED OUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. THE TERM SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL PROBABLY FOREVER BE BURNED INTO OUR BRAINS AND IT SEEMS MOST OF US ARE LEARNING THAT WHEN THE VIRUS THREAT LESSENS, THE LIFE WE ARE GOING BACK TO WILL BE DIFFERENT IN SOME WAYS. THERE HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS LOSS IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THIS VIRUS. OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO THE VICTIMS OF COVID-19 AND THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES. RIGHT NOW THE WORLD IS GRIEVING THE LOSS OF LIFE, SECURITY, NORMALCY, AND CONNECTIONS. IT IS A TRAGIC TIME BUT IT IS MY BELIEF THAT WE WILL ALL COME OUT OF THIS STRONGER AND HOPEFULLY WITH A CLEARER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WE WANT OUR “NORMAL” TO BE.


PEOPLE AND COMPANIES HAVE BEEN QUICK TO REACT TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES TO DISTANCE HUMAN INTERACTION WHEN POSSIBLE AND THESE ACTIONS HAVE ACTUALLY SPROUTED SOME IDEAS THAT IN MY OPINON CAN INCREASE ACCESSIBILITY IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIVES. LIVING LIFE WITH A WHEELCHAIR, ASSISTIVE DEVICE, OR PHYSICAL CONDITION CAN MAKE DAILY TASKS MORE DIFFICULT. THINGS LIKE TAKING TRIPS TO THE STORE OR GOING TO THE DOCTOR CAN BE TIME CONSUMING AND PHYSICALLY TAXING NOT TO MENTION SOME MEMBERS OF THIS COMMUNITY ARE AT HIGHER RISK OF INFECTIONS OF ANY KIND. IT IS MY OPINION THAT NO-CONTACT GUIDELINES CAN PROTECT THOSE IN HIGH RISK IN THE FUTURE WHILE IMPROVING OVERALL EFFICIENCY IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.



Get things delivered

LIFE SAVER! NOT ONLY DOES IT SAVE TIME, BUT IT CAN ALSO SAVE MONEY. I GET BIG BULKY ITEMS LIKE DOG FOOD, PAPER TOWELS, AIR FILTERS, SMALL FURNITURE, HOUSEHOLD ITEMS…YOU NAME IT PREFER TO HAVE IT DELIVERED. HAVING THINGS DELIVERED TO MY DOOR LIMITS THE EXPOSURE I HAVE TO INFECTION AND IS PHYSICALLY EASIER FOR ME TO MANAGE. MY ONLY TASK IS GETTING THE ITEMS FROM MY DOOR INTO MY HOUSE AND IN THERE PROPER SPACES. MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ITEMS TO GET DELIVERED ARE MY GROCERIES! THERE ARE SO MANY SERVICES THAT OFFER GROCERY DELIVERY AND PICK UP AND IT HAS SERIOUSLY TRANSFORMED MY LIFE. OUR FAVORITE SERVICES WE USE ARE SAFEWAY.COM AND INSTACART


Curbside pick up

MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING RIGHT HERE! I HAVE HAD THE IDEA FOR YEARS FOR COMPANIES TO HAVE CURBSIDE PICK UP BECAUSE OF THE CONVENIENCE. SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS IS A LAZY CONCEPT BUT PLEASE LET ME CHANGE YOUR MIND. BENEFIT NUMBER 1 AS A WHEELCHAIR USER, I HAVE TO TRANSFER TO GET ONTO ANY OTHER SURFACE. THOSE TRANSFERS PUT WEAR AND TEAR ON MY BODY OVER TIME AND OVERUSE CAN INCREASE THE CHANCE FOR INJURY. BEING ABLE TO ELIMINATE EVEN A FEW TRANSFERS A DAY OVER TIME CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LONGEVITY OF THE BODY. BENEFIT NUMBER 2 SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO PICK UP MORE ITEMS IN THE STORE THAN YOU CAN CARRY ON YOUR LAP. PUSHING CARTS AROUND A STORE CAN BE TRICKY AND BASKETS ARE MUCH EASIER TO PUSH AROUND A STORE WITH. HOWEVER WE ALL KNOW BASKETS ARE PRETTY SMALL AND ARE NOT MEANT FOR LARGE ITEMS. I OFTEN USE A PICK UP SERVICE FOR NON-PERISHABLES AND OTHER HOUSE HOLD ITEMS SO WHEN I DO GO INTO THE STORE I CAN FOCUS ON PRODUCE, MEAT AND REFRIGERATED ITEMS. BENFIT NUMBER 3 FOOD! IF YOU ARE LIKE ME YOU ARE CONSTANTLY ON THE GO AND YOU GET HUNGRY OFTEN HAHA. I WILL ADMIT THAT I PREFER FOOD CHOICES WHERE I DONT HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR. GETTING IN AND OUT OF THE CAR FOR SHORT TRIPS IS MORE ANNOYING THAN ANYTHING ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS RAINING OR 120 DEGREES OUTSIDE. THIS LEADS TO EATING MORE FAST FOOD THAN I WOULD LIKE TO. NOW I KNOW THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY WHAT I EAT IS A CHOICE, BUT WITH MORE RESTAURANTS OFFERING CURBSIDE PICK UP, I NOW HAVE MORE OPTIONS WITHOUT HAVING TO LEAVE MY CAR. HONESTLY GETTING SUSHI WITHOUT LEAVING MY CAR IS A DREAM COME TRUE.


Order pick up

EVEN IF STORES DO NOT OFFER CURBSIDE PICK UP, MOST HAVE BEEN OFFERING ORDER PICK UP. THIS IS AN OPTION THAT I HAVE ALSO USED IN THE PAST AND CAN BE VERY HELPFUL. IMAGINE NEEDING A LARGE ITEM LIKE A TELEVISION, THAT YOU WOULD NEED HELP FROM A STORE ASSOCIATE GETTING ANYWAYS. THIS CUTS OUT A FEW INTERACTIONS AS WELL AS TIME AND CONTACT WITH SURFACES. WE HAVE ALL BEEN IN A POSITION WHERE WE ARE LOOKING FOR A STORE ASSOCIATE FOR HELP AND THEY ARE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. HAVING YOUR ITEMS AT THE FRONT ENSURES THAT SOMEONE WILL BE THERE TO ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR ITEMS OUT TO YOUR CAR.




THOUGH THIS IS A ROUGH TIME FOR MOST OF US, I TRULY BELIVE GOOD THINGS ARE TO COME OF IT. WE KNOW THAT AMENITIES LIKE THESE HAVE HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER BENEFITS TO KEEPING THESE SERVICES AROUND. CONVENIENCE IS A TOOL THAT WE CAN USE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, INCREASE EFFICIENCY, AND CREATE MORE TIME. IT IS A LUXURY AND WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR IT BECAUSE WHAT IS CONVENIENT FOR SOME CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR OTHERS.