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A post-pandemic world will be different and yet familiar

A new graduate reflects on entering the profession during a pandemic.

As a fairly new Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) who is currently completing Centennial College’s Bridging to University Nursing program, I have spent a lot of time discussing COVID-19 with my classmates and our perceptions of a post-pandemic life.

Through these conversations, I have found a few common themes. Many feel we will not return to a “pre-COVID” life, while others believe otherwise. We may slowly return to a mask-less lifestyle where this virus is seen as another flu, and we receive potential yearly “booster” shots to ensure appropriate herd immunity.

I tend to agree with both perspectives. I do not believe we will return to a similar lifestyle as before because society’s view on individuals wearing masks when sick has changed. Before COVID-19, wearing masks out in public was strange. I would like to see people wear masks when sick to avoid spreading illness within the community as a socially responsible action. This is something that is already seen as a common courtesy in several Asian cultures, and I believe this would significantly reduce the spread of droplet respiratory illnesses going forward.

I also feel that hand hygiene, a very simple yet important and extremely effective action, will become commonplace within our communities. I hope that hand sanitizing stations become a permanent fixture in all our stores and restaurants. This will significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as the common cold and flu, which have both dropped since the start of the pandemic.

Looking ahead, with proper health measures, I do believe that society will return to a mask-less lifestyle, with some positive changes.


Patricia B. Cichocki, RPN

Patricia Cichocki, RPN, graduated from Sheridan College, Davis campus, in 2019 and is currently providing relief work at the Juravinski Cancer Centre triaging new patient referrals. She will be starting a new position as a part-time RPN on a surgical floor at Credit Valley Hospital. Patricia is currently studying to becoming a Registered Nurse. She will be attending Ryerson University in September of 2021.

Patricia is interested in operating room nursing and aspires to further her education post-RN to potentially working in rural and remote areas of Ontario with marginalized populations.