Pandemics have a way of permanently changing our lives. If we look through history, we can see that those changes include everything from public hygiene to economics. For instance, cholera led to better sanitary conditions for those who could afford it, which broadened socio-economic gaps. So many people died of the black plague (approximately 25 million), while those that survived improved the quality of their lives.
The real question here is … how will COVID-19 change the world permanently as we knew it?
Some remote work will stay remote
If companies find out they can run their business successfully with remote workers, of what use will it be keeping large office buildings? High cost of running said office e.g electricity, internet, cleaning, etc. Why not scale down to the size required for just those workers who need to be on-site? From this period many businesses can learn that they employ some unnecessary, redundant workers. There will be a lot of downsizing.
When this pandemic is over, we may find a smaller, more efficient, and more remote workplace.
Tourism and Aviation Industry
Many airlines have either had to shut down temporarily or shut down most of their flights permanently. While travel was one of the last decade’s biggest trends, staying at home may be the biggest trend in the next decade. The flying experience could also change forever; if only airlines like Spirit survive. The all-inclusive meals and personal televisions are gone. Welcome to the airline where everything is nickel-and-dimed, from carry-on purses to water. A future aircraft seat with some form of separation or individual ventilation can be imagined to appeal to the millions of newly minted germaphobes.
Government help is needed
Before the pandemic, many people pondered about ideas centered on universal income and free medicine for all; these sounded like socialist schemes. But with the compulsory shutdown of so many industries, deep systemic issues have surfaced in the US and some countries around the world. Workers that rely on daily income to pay their bills like taxi drivers, waiters, dog walkers, baby sitters, restaurant and bar owners and staffs, cinema staff, event centers, etc cannot afford health insurance or rent, which has its effect on their families, staffs, landlords, and suppliers. It’s got a ripple effect. Anyone living paycheck to paycheck is now unable to afford the basics and a government stimulus featuring a one-time payment is inadequate for the issue. Americans need a monthly safety net to keep the entire economy from collapsing, especially during a global health crisis like this. Maybe some more socialism will come out of coronavirus, at least in a crisis.
Meanwhile, in some other parts of the world like Nigeria, the government adopted a hoodwinked approach to cushion the effect of the pandemic on some of her citizens by sharing “palliatives” such as food items and in some cases cash (which hasn’t been accounted for). Of course, these “palliatives” only got to a fraction of the masses. Perhaps a one-time stimulus will be appreciated.
The way business is done normally will change
Change is inevitable, this is particularly true for the way commerce will be done in the future. This pandemic exposed a lot of opportunities and better ways of doing business, especially in parts of the world like Africa where e-commerce hasn’t really penetrated yet. In this part of the world (Nigeria especially) e-commerce hasn’t seen its full potential yet as there are many lapses that still need to be filled before the full benefits will be seen. Issues such as logistics, payments, quality control, and trust are some of the issues that must first be resolved before people in these parts can fully embrace e-commerce.
Finally, online education will cement its niche
Online education has been around for 30 years but the demand has never been so high. Now, with the pandemic forcing children to stay at home and forcing most schools that can afford it to take their classes online, the digital classroom has finally carved its niche in the market.
During this time, teachers, administrators, and anyone in education was bombarded with emails and promotions from edtech companies to try out their products for free. When the fog lifts, it is possible that those with more experience will dominate in providing online education. Imagine a private school education for a fraction of the actual private school price. Plus the freedom for children and families to travel together throughout the year- assuming most parents become remote workers as stated above.
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