Real estate online virtual property walkthroughs. (Photo: Shutterstock).


By Mary Lynn Bruny

After who knows how many months of this pandemic, it seems soon it will be over (more or less). I feel this tingly thing: I think it’s called hope. (It’s either that or too much caffeine.) But our “new normal” will never be like our “old normal.” Staying at home for so long has changed how we live. We’ve become rather used to our new home-related conveniences. Why should we give them up now? Things like:

If we don’t need a nurse or doctor to physically examine us, why would we go back to germ-filled medical centers when we can instead have tele-appointments in our germ-filled homes? Same with meetings with other needed professionals such as therapists and fortunetellers. You know, our critical service providers during these times.

Real estate online virtual property walkthroughs
These are such timesavers for everyone. Buyers can get a good sense of how a home feels with a click on their computer and easily dismiss properties that aren’t right for them. This is great for sellers too. For many the worst part is preparing their home for showings, making it casually flawless: “Oh, sure, our kitchen island always has two gorgeous place settings with artfully folded cloth napkins and champagne flutes. Just how we live! And our two definitely non-sticky toddlers only have handcrafted, gender-neutral, color-coordinated toys that are charmingly arranged in their tasteful rooms. No garish plastic stuff here!” Yeah, right.

Take-out alcohol at restaurants
How nice is it to pick up yummy take-out drinks to go with our yummy take-out food? Not only do we residents love this convenience, but it also helps our local restaurants financially recover. I for one am very committed to helping with their recovery by making these purchases. I’m thinking this recovery will take decades, indeed my entire lifetime. But I’m that committed.

Working from home
Corporations have discovered people actually work more from home. (Perhaps because it’s more interesting than doing another gosh darn load of laundry. Does it ever end?) Thus companies can reduce office space and associated costs. Employees have discovered the joys of working from home: There’s no commute, they don’t get trapped by negative Ned in the break room (a huge time and brain cell suck), and that loungewear (for some, pajamas) always beats office wear. Another benefit: There are fewer vehicles on the roads. Not only is this better for the environment but it means fewer distracted drivers doing things like texting while eating a breakfast burrito and applying mascara.

Delivery of everything
We have all gotten horribly spoiled about wanting some objects, tapping on our keyboards and having said things miraculously show up on our doorsteps. Not sure if our new distribution channels are more efficient. But people being people, we love convenience so there is no going back. Thus let’s figure out how to do this smartly. How about compostable delivery bags that can be used to pick up dog poop? Seems there’s about an even ratio of daily package deliveries and dog “deposits” happening.

Super comfortable clothes
One retail sector that has done well during the pandemic is loungewear. Sweatpants were rebranded to the more attractive sounding word “joggers.” (Where are we jogging in our homes? From our computers to the refrigerator?) There are also more super soft fabrics being made into comfortable clothing. Even so-called out-of-style skinny jeans that I definitely don’t have on at this very moment have amazing softness and stretch, great for wearing to pick up take-out food and drinks.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to