Finding a quiet spot to sit and think will be one of the best and most important things to do this summer. Finding a quiet spot to sit and think is a

good way to determine a community’s next steps amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as the Milton Public Schools Return To School Task Force is learning to pivot and be nimble, as its co-leaders School Committee member Ada Rosmarin and Glover Elementary School Principal Karen McDavitt described in a recent interview, all of us must do the same.

Here are some changes to our way of life that may (or should) become permanent:

Plexiglass guards in front of all cash registers, be they in food stores, gasoline stations, and drug stores. They offer an additional line of defense for the person on either side of the see-through structure.

Greetings both of a personal and professional nature will be of a raised hand with fingers slightly open and a smile and hello. Handshaking will become a thing of the past. And that’s OK; it’s the warmth of the intent that will be more important than earlier formal practice.

A wave, a smile and a pat on the back can and will replace some hugs. Same message of warmth, delivered differently.

Dining out will take on a new meaning and a new look. Restaurants and cafes will be built to offer an outdoor or extended-room dining section. To handle eating out in the cold weather and rainy months, these outdoor additions may look like sunrooms or porches, encased in glass with piped in heat or a dehumidifier.

Tucked inside backpacks, purses, tote bags and briefcases will be masks or face coverings and small containers of hand sanitizer, ready for use at a moment’s notice.

Masks or face coverings will become permanent fashion gear whenever going inside a store to shop, a museum to view an exhibition, places of worship, public transportation including airplanes and certainly, in any healthcare setting.

Civil engineering and fashion design creativity will reach new heights, all in the name of protecting people’s health. Masks and face coverings will become lighter in weight, especially designed for wear in gyms, on athletic fields and soccer pitches.

Tickets to attend a sporting event, cultural program or educational lecture will be required for crowd control and cleaning needs. “Drop-ins welcome” will become much fewer. Hand sanitizers will be used by each person entering and leaving the facility.

Schools will be on a rotating in-school and remote learning curriculum. Independent study projects will take on new importance for high school students. Children will become advocates for their own education, taking on extra, and parentified, responsibilities.

Yet to be resolved: Adults with child care needs who also need, and want, to work. Even without a pandemic, this situation taxes logistical, payment and transportation plans.

Only time will tell what is adopted as routine in the months and years ahead. Even after a vaccine for the coronavirus is found and approved safe for inoculation, some practices adopted from March 2020 may become the norm.

What are your ideas about what will, won’t and should change in everyday life and society at large? Email to share your thoughts, or call 617-696-7758, ext. 112. Thank you.

– Lisa D. Connell


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