Less than a month into the New Year and one thing is already very clear…

Things aren’t going back to “normal” anytime soon – and even when they do, “normal” is going to look a whole lot different from what we’re all used to.

The pandemic hasn’t just changed life during the crisis.

It’s changed many aspects of our day-to-day living in ways that will resonate for years to come, even if and when the virus is finally brought under control.

And there are three in particular that we should all start to get used to, because they’re almost certainly here to stay.

These 3 changes will outlast the coronavirus

Not every change is bad.

Some are even long overdue – including the more efficient and widespread use of our technology for everything from automatic prescriptions to chats with the grandkids.

And let’s not forget Netflix! (If you’re looking to save a little scratch, most local libraries now have FREE streaming movies via their websites.)

But three changes in particular will be with us even if the coronavirus comes under control… or, better still, when COVID-19 vanishes completely.

CHANGE #1: At the dawn of 2020, many folks never imagined a “virtual” doctor’s appointment.

These days, “telemedicine” is at times the ONLY way to go for many types of doctor check-ins!

If you haven’t set yourself up for this yet, don’t wait anymore. It’s here to stay. In some cases, it may be as simple as knowing how to use the “video chat” function such as FaceTime on your phone. For others, especially larger clinics and providers, you may need to get a special app for your phone or visit a specific website.

You’ll want these installed before you actually need them, so look into it now. If you have any trouble, contact the doctor’s office and have them talk you through the setup over the phone. Your pharmacy may require a different app, so get that set up as well.

CHANGE #2: Folks in many nations routinely wear masks during flu season. If you’re just a little unwell, it protects everyone else. And if you’re high-risk, it gives you some degree of protection.

Masks never took off here… until now, and I imagine this change is also here to stay, not just during coronavirus but also for future flu seasons.

Cloth masks are better than nothing, but they’re not even close to ideal. If things ever return to some semblance of “normal,” get surgical masks, ideally N-95 masks, which filter out more types of particles than any other.

CHANGE #3: Tell someone you’re taking vitamins, and they used to wonder if you’re one of those alt-health kooks.

Today, “kooky” is in!

Everyone’s looking for an edge against infection, including the ongoing cold and flu season, and there’s more interest than ever in natural options for shoring up the immune system.

The big one right now is vitamin D after multiple studies linked low levels of the sunshine vitamin to worse outcomes for COVID-19.

But when it comes to cold and flu season, don’t stop there. Make sure you get vitamins A, C and D as well as zinc for basic immune support and everyday protection from a variety of threats.