This is my first blog for my website www.viveknotes.com originally posted on 4th April 2020
COVID-19 is an unfortunate event of our time and affected everyone. Rarely an event or situation impacts so many people together.
COVID-19 is proving to be a black swan event with millions of cases & more than 50K deaths across 200 nations. Its seems that a number of nations affected might overtake FIFA membership numbers. For many years FIFA boasted that it had more members than United Nations.
COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented crisis from Public health, social, economic, humanitarian perspective.
A couple of days ago, I came across an amazing quote from Haruki Murakami:-
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in”
The quote is quite relevant to today`s situation. As this COVID-19 storm will also pass and the world would be out of this storm sooner or later.
Yet, it would not be the same world, but it would be a new world, a different world and a better world.
I am listing a few of aspects that I think will change in Post Pandemic era: –
1. Community awareness about Health
Health, Hygiene and Sanitation were never a key consideration among the masses. This has been a big problem for developing countries such as India, south-east Asia and Africa.
A large section of people never adopted best practices for sanitation & hygiene with serious intent. This was due to various reasons such a lack of resources, awareness & Public behavior. Actually, Public behavior and neglect have been a bigger culprit than other reasons.
COVID-19 outbreak is likely to change how people`s behavior & action towards sanitation.
It will cause indelible impression among the community about the importance of health, hygiene and sanitation.Small things like hand-washing and other personal hygiene/sanitation measures would give rich dividends on many health parameters in years to come globally.
2. Reversal of De-globalization
I would actually call it reversal of pseudo de-globalization thinking – as nobody could reverse the globalization, yet politician across the world used certain rhetoric such as tariff hikes to please the local constituency
For the last few years, we were witnessing this trend with the rise of nationalist or right-wing government across the world & through trade/ tariff wars
The de-globalization trends apart from all the negative economic impact “slow down the Innovation and its adaption” and “reduces the cooperation among nations on topics of collective importance such as climate change etc.
The COVID-19 has shown how connected world is and how the problem of one nation, can become a problem for the whole world. Hence, that this pandemic will make the politicians across the world realize the importance of interdependence and corporation especially on topics such as climate change, reducing the dangers of the nuclear weapon and safeguarding global economy (and not of a nation) and facilitating & investing in innovation to solve challenges plaguing humanity.
3. Technology and change on how we would interact with our customers and colleagues
COVID-19 lockdown has changed how we would interact with our customers and with our colleagues. companies across the world now are being run by people working remotely, but this is not an isolated or one-off instance, this will have a long-term impact on how organizations and employees will work in future.
Most companies due to this forced lockdown would realize that working from the office is not that important.
Working remotely might be as effective and more productive as people don’t have to travel a long distance (for e.g. People in Mumbai on an average travel 2-3 hours daily from home-office-home and causing a lot of congestion on road due to traffic and of course pollution). Companies would also be benefited by reduced cost on office space and people travelling across the country or world to attend the meeting (most of those now could be very well done virtually)
The forced lockdown has highlighted the effectiveness of various tools that were already on our laptop, but we never utilized it properly. And these tools will continue to become more and more powerful.
Microsoft Teams was in my laptop since last 2 years. we never used it that way we have used in the last couple of weeks. I am quite impressed by the robustness and competence of this tool.
Even in the post-pandemic world – Working remotely or work from home (as you would like to call it) would become a norm rather than the exception.
4. Spending on Public health
Public health spending across the world has always been less than required. Many governments have spent a larger proportion of money on weapons and defense trying to protect from some other enemy country, but these countries never prepared to face the enemy in another form “Communicable pandemic”.
COVID-19 has exposed that most countries had inadequate public health infrastructure i.e less number of doctors and other medical staff, lack of equipment, medicines & robust infrastructure and plagued by bureaucracy, corruption and inability to provide the last mile efficient delivery
COVID-19 is a new disease. but, many communicable diseases have plagued humanity for long. These diseases have been causing misery, morbidity, mortality across the world. Yet, Governmental Investment on health never seemed to be priority world over.
I hope that COVID-19 will be a turning point to the strategy of various governments. I hope the governments across the world must reduce wasteful spending on defense etc.
Thereby, increasing spend on public health. This will enable the world to improve its fight against various communicable diseases
I will end with philosophical thought.
“COVID-19 is a teacher. COVID-19 is teaching us “humility” and testing our “resilience”. I am sure human species would pass this tough test”