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Social work for tomorrow in the new normal
International Social Work  (IF1.349),  Pub Date : 2021-09-06, DOI: 10.1177/00208728211038214
Patrick O’Leary, Ming-sum Tsui

The world has been struggling with COVID-19 for more than 18 months. One wave after another, the pandemic not only makes people infected and sick as we have seen many people die. The virus and its multiple variants have changed our life patterns and interpersonal interactions all over the world. There are no handshakes, no hugs and no smiles (as your face is covered by a mask) in our daily lives. Instead, we have been facing ‘lockdown’ and work from home, as well as social distancing and compulsory quarantine. In addition, all kinds of gatherings, such as religious services, wedding banquets and funerals, are limited to a minimum level of attendance and participation. Travelling to other countries has become just a dream. All we can do is stay local. Face-to-face schooling is replaced by online learning and teaching sessions. Life planning and programme scheduling are disturbed by unexpected uncertainties. It seems that we can do nothing but only wait for another wave of the pandemic. Yet our hope and love for humanity still come to the surface. Learning from the history of the Spanish Flu more than a hundred years ago, what follows the pandemic is always economic recession, social reform, revolutions and even wars. However, life must go on, we have no choice but to live with the challenges. Challenges can be a trauma or a chance for change; it depends on how we perceive, present and persist.