The outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic has transformed lives in big and small ways. From adjustments in daily commuting and food habits to the changing techniques of meeting, greeting people, the unfolding of this crisis has brought about long term implications.
The abrupt lockdown has led to unprecedented disruptions in every segment of life. But, despite these catastrophic consequences, the prayers are consistent, to tackle the pandemic, since we know it is here to stay for an extended haul.
Suspension in travel, transportation, and movement, behavioral inventions like wearing masks, social distancing, and self-quarantining was the normal way of life for several months.
The lockdown did not allow us to step out of our homes, business and supply chain logistics crumbled, the health department struggled to handle Covid patients, access to safety was hindered, the stress was challenging.
Now, as the virus continues to escalate at a slow burn and the situations have restored to a somewhat normal state, a new global order awaits us.
So, what is next?
The world before Covid 19 has gone. Much has changed and it will continue to. So, the question is, what NOW?
Currently, we are lurking at the edge of the human race’s combined knowledge, sobering up to constantly remind ourselves that whatever we do not know yet is much bigger than what we know, both regarding ourselves and the world where we reside.
In the same frame, pandemics have always had a major impact on human civilization. Many believe that the future will build-up, based on how much social, urban mixing resumes, between people and what prevention measures we undertake.
Change in Lifestyle
The imposition of the lockdown has forced humans to lead sustainable living. Home-cooked meals have replaced junk meals. People are giving priority to a simple, rewarding lifestyle, by reducing consumption and being aware of income insecurities.
The inclination is more towards saving. People have tended to become more family-oriented, they are working together, from managing household chores to cooking, spending quality time with each other. Rather than going outside, people now choose to relax indoors and unwind with their families together.
Good personal habits have witnessed positive culmination. People have started discovering new hobbies, talents, and interests. Social media has become a new coping mechanism for all, the virtual, internet-based community has become strong.
However, being locked inside the home for a long stretch has given rise to mental health troubles. The uneasiness and unpredictability cause unexplained stress and anxiety, which has become hard to overcome.
The New Work Culture
The aftermath of the pandemic has led to a division in worker classes – one who works from home and the others cannot, thus risking infection. The commercial market of real estate has taken a serious hit, with unoccupied, empty office spaces, although many companies have taken advantage of this by saving money and providing the workers with enhanced flexibility. Remote working frustration is managed with video conferencing, workers have seemed to attain freedom in work.
However, for many, this is not the truth. All those digital proletariats- food delivery and e-commerce platforms have brought restrain over their employees. The myth of empowering the gig workers has broken, with no protection measures to weather this crisis. Offices are, hence, struggling to adjust to the pandemic and sustain.
The economy will need New Strategy
The global financial system has been under fundamental shock, network distribution and supply chains have become vulnerable to almost wreckage.
Companies have emerged gun shy about dispersed production, consequently, supply chains have come close to home to avoid future cases of collapse or hindrance. This way, the entire system can become more resilient.
The government of every country is making rapid shifts, from multilateralism to unilateralism, from globalism to isolationism, from multiculturalism to isolationism.
The world order has been altered forever. Issues like the refugee crisis, neoliberalism, social inequality, poverty has exacerbated. Newer problems have been created that needs to be dealt with.
The local business is reborn. The motto is – Think Global, Act Local. As long distanced networking system faltered, along with production, manufacturing, and delivery, local industries started thriving. The enlarging digital platform further helped it expand in terms of reach and awareness.
Travel industries, restaurants, hotels, and the tourism industry, are seriously hurting. With the change in social living, the use of public transport is assumed to decrease, for fears of contagion. The bicycle has now become the new king of the vehicles, the single, best pandemic resilient mobility.
Cityscapes have reformed for the better. With the lockdown of cars and big transport, movement restrictions, the world became a better and greener place to live in. Studies say that the nitrogen levels in the atmosphere have dropped massively ( a result of less burning of fossil fuels), the quietening down of the factories has stopped the release of harmful chemicals in the air, bringing down industrial air pollution.
CO2 emissions were low, by almost 8%. It seemed like a counter war – the coronavirus pandemic and positive climate change along with low energy usage. Pro-Active decisions, like immobilization of the population, bettered the results for the World.
The Empowering Health Sector
While the initial response of the worldwide healthcare network to the coronavirus pandemic looked chaotic and uncoordinated, they declared themselves international heroes and fighters in no time.
While the crisis convinced many to step down from work, every state managed to efficiently run their health emergency services. The countries also got an opportunity to reshape their health units.
Unwittingly bringing about desirable changes, care, and covid impact merged to provide equal treatment to all. The need for a robust healthcare system has flourished with increased investment and positive results.
Overburdened units have been managed, the morale of the workers and employees has risen manifold. Instances of unethical practices and vengeance are definitely noticeable, but unknown profiteering has lowered.
The vast production of timely medical supplies has enabled doctors and nurses to treat Coronavirus-affected patients which is a huge risk in itself. This shows how the medical fraternity has improved admirably.
How to Cope with it?
Exposing the literal downfalls and dysfunction in society, the advent of the coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to re-think our future. Constructive and contributive strategies can help restore the economy of the nation, and tackle issues which we have always preferred to ignore.
With multiple opportunities to regain lost connections, the present scenario asks the human race to be more cooperative and harmonious. It teaches us the necessity of healthy, hygienic living and ways to allow mother nature to replenish and repair itself.
With the idea of touch sparking more fear in the future, digital connectivity has become more viable. While many believe along with the testimonies from history, that war and infectious pandemic crises have always been interconnected, it becomes necessary that the leaders of the country safeguard their resources, without any interruption so that the larger picture does not tamper. Risk mitigation is the call of the hour. Leaders have to strive towards balance, not turbulence.
The creation of compassionate societies will make our planet a safe place for the coming generations. The outbreak of the pandemic has made every country reflect on its own fragility.
It has made them realize the impact of dependency on the rest of the world to maintain cam and routine, manage everyday living with adequate supplies. At the same time, countries recognize the loneliness and isolation that comes while responding to a major extrinsic shock.
Remember, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”