Life After COVID-19

General Health and Preventive Care  /  Blog

Life After COVID-19

Jennifer Nelson

Written by Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

July 1, 2021 / Read Time 5 minutes

*NOTE:  Due to a lack of scientific data at this time, PlushCare physicians do not prescribe ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, or azithromycin/other antibiotics to treat COVID-19.

How Will Life After COVID-19 Be Different?

As of June 30, 2021, about 46% of Americans were considered fully vaccinated; 620, 256 Americans and 3,965,372 people worldwide have died, and untold numbers of people are struggling with “long COVID-19.”

No matter how you look at it, life after COVID will not be the same as it was before the SARS-CoV-2 virus started wreaking havoc across the planet. What does life after COVID look like? What does “life after COVID” even mean? 

Here’s the latest information about what we might expect in the coming months and years as more people get vaccinated.

  1. 1

    Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  3. 3

    Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

What Is “Life After COVID-19”?

Life after COVID-19 could mean many things to many different people. It could mean:

  • Life after being ill with COVID-19, potentially still experiencing symptoms.

  • Life after being fully vaccinated.

  • Life post-quarantine.

  • Dealing with consequences from the pandemic, from losing a job to a home to a loved one.

  • Life after COVID has “gone away” and is no longer killing significant numbers of people every day.

Life Post-Quarantine

For many people, “life after COVID” means life post-quarantine. Here’s what that could look like.

Going Out Again After COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 variants, masks and social distancing may still be in place for quite some time, even when most businesses start to open up. You may be able to meet friends, go out to eat inside a restaurant, or watch a movie in a theater. 

Even if you are vaccinated, you could still get COVID and pass it to somebody else, so it is important to follow any mask and social distancing rules in place whenever you go out.

Going Back to the Office After COVID-19

Some companies may shutter their office and continue working entirely online. Other companies may insist that all employees return to the office after COVID. And many companies may give their employees the option of working remotely or coming into the office.

If you are going back to the office, expect things like plexiglass around desks, wider walkways, or other measures to help encourage social distancing.

Going Back to School After COVID-19

As of writing, there is still no vaccine approved for children under the age of 12 (children 12-17 can now get the Pfizer vaccine). Still, many children are eager to get back to school. Going back to school after COVID may mean wearing a mask, smaller class sizes, or other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Life After COVID-19 Recovery

Most people recover completely from COVID-19 with no lingering effects. Most people who get COVID will likely develop some temporary immunity from getting it again (although there have been cases of people getting COVID more than once).

However, some people continue suffering symptoms of COVID-19 even after some initial symptoms have gone away. Referred to as post-COVID-19 syndrome or long COVID-19, “long haulers” have symptoms that last more than four weeks after initial diagnosis. These symptoms may include:

  • Cough

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Joint pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Concentration, memory, or sleep problems

  • Pounding or fast heartbeat

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Fever

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Dizziness

  • Organ damage

  • Blood clots

Read: COVID-19 Depression

Life After COVID-19 Vaccine

Once you’re fully vaccinated, you will start to be able to do more things, while other aspects of life will remain the same.

What You Can Start to Do if Fully Vaccinated

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine or two weeks after the second shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Once you’re fully vaccinated, here are some things you can do:

  • Gather indoors with other vaccinated people without masks or social distancing.

  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one household without masks or social distancing, as long as none of the unvaccinated people are at risk of severe COVID.

  • Do things outside without a mask, except in crowded areas. Keep in mind that local regulations may still require masks in some places.

What You Should Continue Doing After Being Vaccinated

Since people may still get or spread COVID even after they have been fully vaccinated, there are still things you should do to help protect others, including:

  • Wear a mask in indoor public settings, when around people at risk of severe COVID, and when gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one household.

  • Watch out for symptoms of COVID, especially if you have been around somebody who is infected.

  • Avoid large indoor gatherings.

  • Wear a mask on public transportation and anywhere else it is required.

Travel During COVID-19

While you may be tempted to hop on a plane as soon as you are fully vaccinated, travel during COVID is still risky, especially international travel. It is possible that fully vaccinated people could still get and spread new strains of the coronavirus. If you must travel, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Masks are still required on public transportation within, to, and from the United States. That includes buses, planes, and trains.

  • If you are traveling internationally, make sure you know the requirements of your destination country. You may be required to isolate yourself for up to 14 days, provide proof of immunization, or show a negative COVID test.

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least six feet away from others whenever possible.

  • All people flying into the US, including citizens and people who are fully vaccinated, must have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before boarding a flight to the US.

  • You should get a COVID test three to five days after traveling.

  • Further requirements may exist for those who are not fully vaccinated, including self-quarantine or additional testing.

Read: Testing Positive for COVID while Traveling: What to Do

  1. 1

    Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  3. 3

    Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

How Will Life Be Different After COVID-19?

COVID-19 isn’t going to disappear, at least not any time soon. Still, once enough people are vaccinated or have some natural immunity after being sick with COVID, eventually, it will become a manageable threat that will still cause hospitalizations and deaths, but in much smaller numbers.

So, what will life look like when that happens? Here are some possibilities, according to experts interviewed by Reader’s Digest:

  • Working from home will become more commonplace

  • Business casual may become less common

  • Workplace communication will continue to increase

  • “Vaccine passports” may become required for international travel

  • Food delivery will continue to be popular

  • Road trips may become more popular

Read More About Life After COVID-19


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. Accessed on May 12, 2021, at

  • Mayo Clinic. COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Long-Term Effects. Accessed on May 12, 2021, at

  • UChicago Medicine. Vaccinated? How your life may change after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Accessed on May 12, 2021, at

  • UCLA Newsroom. As optimism returns, a reminder that life after COVID-19 will be stressful for many. Accessed on May 12, 2021, at

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. Accessed on June 21, 2021 at 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens. Accessed on June 21,2021 at

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Accessed on June 21,2021 at

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