Top 50 things we won’t do after COVID-19 pandemic is over

Millions of adults believe they will never again share a drink, snog a stranger – or try on someone else’s glasses, once the pandemic is finally over.

A study of 2,000 adults found that eight in 10 will consciously try not to share items with other people, while 73 per cent will now always maintain a social distance from those they don’t know.

One-quarter of adults won’t reach into someone else’s crisp bag for a handful and a third will no longer sneak a bite out of another’s sandwich!

Using make-up samples in a store, borrowing someone else’s lip balm and standing close to someone in a queue are also things Brits will avoid. While 25 per cent can’t see themselves surrounded by others in a busy pub again even after all restrictions are lifted.

And 21 per cent intend to avoid buffet-style restaurants at all costs.

Researchers found one-fifth of adults have no intention of using office cutlery in the future – assuming they return to the workplace eventually. Similarly, the same percentage won’t use mugs or glasses in the office, and one in 10 will steer clear of the office tea round, ‘just in case’.

It also emerged people are more wary of others than ever before, with 19 per cent saying they won’t chat to someone in close proximity in a club, a fifth won’t shake someone’s hand and 18 per cent will avoid sitting next to others on public transport. Four in 10 adults polled via OnePoll said that in future they will be comfortable refusing a hug from someone, if they felt it inappropriate.

These findings are despite one-third of adults claiming they are usually tactile, touchy-feely people.

Brits are agreed it will take an average of 12 months following lockdown lifting, and the vaccine being rolled out to all adults, before life will start to feel anything like ‘normal’ again.

Says Rebecca Strauss, from Vision Direct, which commissioned the research:

“Habits such as carrying hand sanitiser everywhere, working from home when we have a cold, and washing our hands any time we touch our faces or eyes are positive habits we can continue to practice after the pandemic.

“We have always stressed the importance of good hygiene and handwashing in regards to eye health.

“But the pandemic has really opened our eyes to how these habits should be carried into other aspects of our lives.”

On the back of the findings, the eyecare specialists have launched a quiz for Brits to determine if they are already experts at social distancing, or if there is more work to be done –


1.   Use someone else’s lip balm
2.   Sneak a bite of someone else’s sandwich
3.   Use store make-up samples
4.   Snog a stranger on a night out
5.   Borrow a swimming costume from someone else
6.   Use someone else’s make up
7.   Stand close to people at the bar or in a queue
8.   Leave the house without hand sanitiser
9.   Share a pack of crisps in a pub
10.   Use someone else’s deodorant
11.   Get someone to check if your breath smells
12.   Go to a buffet-style restaurant
13.   Hold the handrail on an escalator
14.   Hold onto public transport e.g. the bus/tube handles/pole
15.   Shake someone’s hand
16.   Borrow gloves from someone else
17.   Drink from mugs/glasses in work
18.   Chat in close proximity to someone in a club
19.   Sit next to someone on public transport
20.   Use office cutlery
21.   Try on someone else’s glasses to see what they look like
22.   Share clothes with a friend
23.   Use your fingertips to push pelican crossing buttons
24.   Use gym equipment after someone else
25.   High five someone
26.   Use someone else’s nail varnish
27.   Share takeaway food dishes with others
28.   Let someone else pack your shopping in the bags at the supermarket
29.   Go to a live sporting event
30.   Use a public toilet
31.   Sit on a train without sanitizing the area
32.   Hotdesk at work
33.   Partake in free food giveaways at work
34.   Use someone else’s pen
35.   Try on sunglasses in a shop
36.   Take part in an office ‘tea round’
37.   Use your fingertips to operate cashpoints
38.   Pay for things with cash
39.   Check your hair in someone’s sunglasses reflection
40.   Use a swing at a park
41.   Buy something from a charity shop
42.   Go back to the office at all
43.   Accept a cup of tea from someone else
44.   Go to shopping centres
45.   Sit in the back seat of a car next to someone
46.   Sleep over at someone else’s house
47.   Having a slice of birthday cake at a party
48.   Sample someone else’s baking
49.   Pose for a group photo
50.   Use a toilet at someone else’s house

Chris Price