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What Will Post-Pandemic Life Look Like? Futurist Bruce Turkel Has Some Ideas

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Will we ever shake hands again? How about wearing masks? Can you work from home forever? Plenty of people are wondering what a post-pandemic world looks like.

CBS4's Hank Tester spoke with futurist Bruce Turkel to have some of those questions answered.

"It has been a year and a half almost where our lives were changed dramatically," Turkel said. "Some good things, certainly tragic things, but what is most valuable is that we have gotten used to it and we like some of it."

An expert on branding, economic development, creativity and innovation, Turkel has a term to define how to sort out what's coming down post pandemic.

"I am call it the 'Tri-Life.' We have to divide it into three different areas," he said.

Part one: life style. It's how we associate with each other, greet each other, our interactions impacted by the pandemic and what will stay with us.

"When we work, when we do work, deliveries," Turkel said. "My family was doing a zoom every Wednesday night. My mom is older; my kids don't live in Miami. We still do it even though we can get together. How we greet people remember. If you did this 10 years ago, it was a terrorist fist jab. Now, persons do it as a matter of course."

Turkel said some folks will keep wearing masks, warding off not only COVID-19 but the flu and colds.

And eating outside year round is probably going to stay with us. Coconut Grove residents are fighting to keep streets closed so outdoor dining can continue.

"There is business number two of tri-life. All kinds of opportunities. Some businesses have gone away, while others have sprung up. Lots of businesses changed," Turkel said.

Case in point: Coral Gables. Restaurants closed, but in their place are 20 new dining facilities with new concepts that have opened or are set to open.

Office buildings are almost empty with many working from home. A good numbers workers have embraced it, and the same can be said for many employers.

Yet, in Miami, all the talk is hi-tech and Bitcoin filling voids.

And airlines are shifting from reliance on business travelers to leisure travelers, opening more service to vacation destinations. Business travel has been impacted by Zoom, and those aren't going away.

"Businesses change, life things change, but I think and I cannot think of a better world but the profundity the really deep thought like, 'Where you gonna live?'" Turkel said.

Or better yet, where you going to work? And that's especially true with folks furloughed and out of work, giving them plenty of time to think and evaluate.

These questions make up part three: profundity.

"How about the fabric and foundation of basic things that you do? We thought that showing up was so critical. I think people are going to start asking the question: 'Is that all there is?'" Turkel said. "'How do I want to live my life going forward? What am I going to do? And what am I not going to do anymore because I have learned there is no point to it.'"

Maybe that's why, in part, employers can't attract workers. There's been lots of personal reevaluation going on.

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