Social Cost of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a major impact on everyday life around the world, in addition to its broad economic consequences. In certain ways, government policies such as social distancing laws, stay-at-home mandates, company lockdowns, and curfews have harmed neighborhood interactions by greatly restricting chances for physical face-to-face contact.

These interventions have had a huge impact on family life, both in terms of growing proximity for those required to share confined spaces during lockdowns and in terms of holding families apart to avoid infection risk.

For example, during the pandemic, one grandmother in California described her experiences with her granddaughter as follows: [My husband and I] were both looking at her, and she was looking at us and embracing a dolly. And they're looking through the window. It was her special day.

And she approached the bottle, put her hand up [to ours], and kissed it, and I kissed it as well. We kissed through the bottle, and it was absolutely heartbreaking... ‘I wish I could hug you, I miss you, and I'm going to give you kisses,' I said. We'd go out into the yard and keep a safe distance. We did a little bit of everything. We only used FaceTime at first.

Then we moved in between the bars, where we could at least see her.

Similarly, a grandmother we spoke with in Italy said, "The pandemic has swept away the spontaneity from natural expressions of affection." During the lockout, there is anxiety, but there is also an urge to embrace grandchildren, girls, and friends. Physical communication has been lost as a result of the pandemic, and people have had to replace it with video calls or tweets, both with family and friends, in an effort to overcome their anxiety.

Many people's relationships with families and friends have been strained as a result of the pandemic. However, increased consistency in time plans, alternative job conditions, and less options for other social events have brought some individuals closer together. Communication systems have also helped to maintain relationships with relatives and friends after the pandemic. Furthermore, social media has played an important role in eliminating alienation for both older and younger people, despite the fact that these platforms have often helped spread rumors and disinformation.

The modern social distancing and travel constraints have often forced romantic relationships and dating to change. For example, some dating apps have changed their usage rules and added new video technology options so that users can continue to engage with others while mitigating risks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. COVID-19 has had an effect on romantic love in general, and has led to increased tension among romantic partners in certain situations, compounding factors that may lead to increased infidelity. During the Stage lockdown, major social gatherings such as weddings had to be cancelled in cities like metropolitan Melbourne, Australia.

Human-nonhuman animal relationships, as well as the social practises that accompany them, have been influenced. For example, statistics indicate that pet owning and adoption has increased significantly, owing to the fact that pets can help people cope with depression and isolation, as well as promote healthy and more active lifestyles. There has also been debate over the pandemic's consequences for specific species. During discussions over future animal welfare problems, the dog racing industry in Victoria, Australia, was exempted from tight Stage lockout controls.

As a result of the pandemic, many households became unable to pay their rent or mortgage fees, putting them at risk of foreclosure and homelessness. This has occasionally resulted in extreme and violent reactions. In other ways, it has exacerbated pre-existing social problems such as heightened domestic violence and other types of harassment. Domestic and family abuse has increased in Brazil, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Cyprus, according to early estimates. Domestic abuse increased within the first two weeks of the stay-at-home order, according to a survey conducted in Dallas, Texas. The pandemic's long-term isolation, tension, and confusion can intensify alcohol and drug consumption. Furthermore, these circumstances will raise the risk of relapse in recovered alcoholics and drug addicts. Online gaming has also grown in popularity.

Due to the need to re-imagine spaces and people's interactions within them in ways that conform with social distancing standards, COVID-19 has also modified social practices in different daily environments. In-person teaching has clear practical problems, such as how to handle students on school campuses. Closures and social distancing practices have been suggested as options. Educational institutions are increasingly relying on online instruction, posing new obstacles.

For example, we met with an Italian schoolteacher who clarified that the move to distance learning had some benefits but also had several drawbacks. For younger students or students with disabilities, the current teaching style was not always appropriate. Furthermore, online education continued to exacerbate the ‘digital gap' between families with varying degrees of access to appropriate home rooms, laptops, and high-speed Internet connectivity. When our school reopened... the classroom was reorganized with single-seat seats... pupils still had to wear surgical masks and could only remove them in ‘static' times, seated at their desks, he said. They were unable to move or transfer materials among themselves... The way teachers interacted has also changed dramatically. The faculty lounge, which could no longer be used due to COVID-19, was where teachers used to congregate. Teachers started to meet in online spaces like Google Meet, particularly to exchange teaching practices, as opportunities for meetings and encounters with colleagues were visibly diminished. However, the opportunity to communicate was severely hampered.

Universities have also had to adapt their courses and curricula to accommodate internet distribution. If this is possible, students will have less chances to engage in off-line social networking, which is critical for job advancement. Furthermore, many universities will not be able to withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.

People's eating and drinking habits have since changed as a result of the pandemic. Restaurants, for example, have had to make a variety of improvements, including redesigning their rooms, accommodating fewer guests in order to adhere to social distancing laws, using smart technologies (e.g., for menus and meal orders), and extending their takeaway and delivery options. Some of them also devised ingenious tactics to maintain social distance between patrons.

Similarly, government restrictions have forced some bars in many locations to close for extended periods of time. Many that have reopened or stayed open have had to rethink how they represent consumers and handle staff-to-customer experiences. Complex laws governing indoor and outdoor areas, as well as food service in relation to the selling of alcohol, influence our decision to attend these places and our encounters there. Menus, salt and pepper shakers, cutlery, and coasters, among other ‘multi-touch' products, are now kept away from customers. One Irish pub in Spain's Canary Islands used humor to convey some of the actual risks involved with social activities in pubs, posting a sign warning customers not to sing Neil Diamond's hit "Sweet Caroline" at all costs. Employees scribbled lyrics on a chalkboard stating that, under COVID-19, "there would be no: holding hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you."

Cafes have also been compelled to adapt creatively to the pandemic, with some selling their inventory as groceries and extending their takeaway and delivery services. Furthermore, the pandemic has weakened the position of cafes as "third spaces" between home and work, critical for socializing and networking in many countries. The pandemic could have long-term consequences for coffee culture all over the world.

Over the pandemic, barbershops and hairdressers have also been at the center of national discussion over lockdown policies, with disagreement about if they are considered "necessary" companies that should be excluded from lockdown constraints. Barbershops have long served as vital meeting spaces for certain ethnic communities, including community building, recreation and entertainment, gossip, and local civic activity, as well as local education programs. They're also beneficial to men's mental health. Similarly, hair salons can act as a "comforting center of self-care and culture" as well as a "vital link between community members and resources such as domestic violence shelters." This is why many consumers objected to government decisions to shut down these companies after the pandemic and, in some circumstances, were successful in overturning them. In one severe situation, an armed paramilitary group assisted in keeping a barbershop open in a small Michigan city.

COVID-19 has had an indirect impact on people's desire to remain well, in addition to its overt impact. Lockdown and social distancing constraints, for example, have altered how people exercise, with online streaming courses and program being a common way for people to interact and participate in gym events. Gyms also also had to deal with stringent health and safety measures, including the implementation of "hygiene marshals," when they haven't been required to close.

COVID-19 has had an indirect impact on people's desire to remain well, in addition to its overt impact. For instance, lock-

Internet video courses and programs have become a common way for people to interact and participate in fitness events, thanks to down and social distancing constraints aimed at reducing its reach. Gyms also also had to deal with stringent health and safety measures, including the implementation of "hygiene marshals," when they haven't been required to close.

Outdoor exercise has become increasingly common, partly as a result of the dangers involved with exercising in confined spaces. However, research shows that overeating and other poor eating habits have risen, posing additional health risks to individuals and the general public.

Other aspects of social life, such as sport and tourism, have been impacted by the pandemic. In order to connect, event-based social networks like Meetup have been pushed to migrate to virtual channels.

According to a new study conducted in Australia, during the pandemic, Meetup activity declined by %. Participants in this study stated that Meetup was one of the key ways by which they were introduced to new, future relationships, and that they were unable to extend their social networks and thereby make new friends due to lockdown steps. COVID-19 also amplified current relationships within Meetup communities, causing close relationships to become stronger and weaker relationships to become weaker. Participants used other social networking services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to keep in touch during lockdown where their relationships were solid enough, highlighting the relevance of polymedia use.

The way people fly for vacations and tourism has changed as well. Customers and business owners at beach resorts, for example, face unparalleled obstacles such as new social distancing laws, as well as shame and public humiliation for those who do not comply.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on people's desire to visit and enjoy national and local parks, as well as green areas in general.

Taking public transportation now comes with the added requirement of maintaining social distance on crowded buses and subways. Passengers must also take new steps to prevent touching handles and other areas where the virus may spread. To avoid an inevitable return to a car-driven transportation environment, forward-thinking experts would need to build safer mass transportation infrastructure and new transportation innovations.

Touchless pedestrian crossings and crowd simulation technologies to promote social distancing are suggested steps to contain the virus's spread among pedestrians. Uber and other ridesharing providers have had to adjust their business models in response to lower consumer demand. For example, they have prioritized food distribution over taxi service in order to retain drivers employed and alleviate food insecurity. Disruptions to their business model, on the other hand, have had significant social consequences for segments of the community that depend on rideshare transportation services.

COVID-19's wider social implications provide the potential for conflicts to occur between persons and social classes. At the start of the pandemic, social hoarding was especially widespread, with people battling over toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bread, and pasta in stores and supermarkets. Facemask laws have also sparked outbursts of frustration, resulting in the deaths of innocent people and deadly confrontations with law enforcement.

Furthermore, in online spaces, ageism and intergenerational tensions are on the rise, especially between the millennial and baby boomer generations. Infected patients and others who have recovered from the disease, as well as physicians and health professionals, have all been subjected to social stigma. COVID-19 has also fueled xenophobia and bigotry. Hate speech, hate crimes, and racist policies have been particularly prevalent against citizens of Chinese and East Asian descent, Muslims, Jews, and Romani groups. On a global scale, the pandemic has engendered negative views toward countries with high infection rates. According to one report, there was an increase in incivility aimed at China on South Korean social media.