4 changes the pandemic brought in 2020 that will continue into the New Year and beyond


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Most can agree 2020 has been a year like no other we’ve experienced before.

The pandemic has forced many changes in our lives, but four of them will likely follow us into 2021 and for years to come.

Goodbye, snow days

Thousands of children across the country used to pray for a forecast like the one predicted for New Year’s Day in Kansas City. Ice and snow meant a day away from the classroom and plenty of time to play outside.

But thanks to COVID-19 and remote learning, snow days are mostly a thing of the past for many school districts.

In Johnson County, the Olathe and Blue Valley school districts already approved calendars for next year.

“Snow days for this year will not happen. They will become remote days,” said John Allison, superintendent for Olathe Public Schools.

That decision made in July will continue.

Hello, streaming

The pandemic also changed the movie-going experience forever. Theaters are open, but because of COVID restrictions and fewer new movies, they welcome smaller crowds to the big screen.

“The theatrical model was in trouble before the pandemic exposed it, and now we’re dealing with the future,” FOX4 film critic Shawn Edwards said.

Instead, people are turning even more to streaming options.

Warner Bros. announced in early December that all of its movies in 2021 will be released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Right now, HBO Max users can even stream “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Doctors go online

Virtual appointments are also expected to stick around.

Telemedicine is making it easier than ever for people to see doctors or make therapy appointments — and you can do it right from your couch.

Most major health care providers offer the service these days.

Employees go home

This will also be remembered as the year thousands of Americans worked from home.

“Roles that employers never thought could be done remotely are currently having to be done remotely,” said Sara Sutton, CEO of FlexJobs.

The pandemic force many offices to send employees home and conduct as much business as possible over programs such as Zoom and Teams.

“I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me the flexibility to be a mom as well as stay in my career path,” Sutton said.

Thousands of employees have returned to their offices, but nearly as many said they will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.

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