How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Changing Our World
It has now been more than 6 months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. This declaration came with international lockdowns, worldwide travel restrictions and implementation of ways of life not experienced for over a century. I’m not sure that we understand the totality of the impact this pandemic is going to have on us. However, what is certain is that we have been presented with new forms of ‘normal’. The world has been transformed immeasurably and irreversibly in many different aspects. The below pointers only skim the surface and aim to encourage further awareness.
Work: Through remote access offered by companies due to the coronavirus, employees will have bargaining power to continue working from home for part of the week, where this option is possible. Flexible working schedules will be desired by employees and subsequently accommodated for. Days of travelling from one city to another and back, all within a day for a business meeting or two, are finished. Video conferencing technologies have accelerated in use and will be a preference moving forward. They are time savers, efficient and can achieve the same results, as an in-person meeting would. Employers will increasingly focus on the mental wellbeing of their employees, through establishing mechanisms for human connection and bonding. Employee physical wellbeing will remain a priority for companies, with sanitisation and hygiene practiced regularly.
Education: The difficult reality of being able to socially distance within confined spaces such as classrooms will be met with accommodating conditions. Remote learning will continue not only for school classes or university lectures, but also for the process of examinations. Technology will preferred because of it’s convenience. So long are the days of the blackboard and white chalk. Although convenient for many, inequities will arise as numerous children are deprived of sufficient access to Internet connection or remote learning tools.
Human Behaviour: The days of greeting acquaintances and loved ones with a hug, handshake or kiss feel like a distant memory. Elbow touching, smiling or waving from afar are our new ways of greeting and acknowledgment. It’s harder to feel the connection this way or to understand the emotion that lies beneath the facemask, but the sparkle in the eyes remains.
Air Travel: The way that we will travel in the future is yet to be fully understood. Rows on the plane could be dedicated to individual people to ensure social distancing, rather than occupied by many without a free seat in sight. It could well be a requirement that for one to travel, they must be vaccinated. Compulsory coronavirus testing might be implemented upon arrival at airports for passengers to receive the all clear to proceed.
Supply Chains: Countries around the world have in recent months been challenged to weigh up the benefits of a global supply chain compared to that of a domestic supply chain. People are keen to see a return to home-based manufacturing and support for local businesses. The convenience of having access to all necessities in ones own country without dependence on others would result in higher expenses, but many are willing to spend that little extra more for local supplies.
Whilst some of the above is only anticipated and expected, the true impact of how coronavirus has changed the world will be revealed over time. What is remarkable and without a doubt, is that the way we go about our daily lives has changed, forever. The new normal waits.