The effect of COVID-19 pandemic has been significant. It has changed changed the way businesses and people operate. The pandemic is far more challenging than any of its predecessors, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak of 2003 or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak of 2015. Talking about the economic consequences, the pandemic has had worsening effects on the global economy. The economic lockdown across nations has affected global manufacturing and the supply chain. High levels of indebtedness point at the fragility of the world economy at present. The pandemic is also taking a toll on people’s mental health. Fear and worry about one’s health and the health of loved ones is resulting in anxiety amongst many.
Not being able to travel and staying at home for 24/7 is also leading to stress-eating and changes in sleeping patterns. While the disease is definitely having unfavourable effects all over the globe, people are trying their best to cope with the situation. Students — at least in urban areas — are keeping themselves busy with online classes and adults are adapting to the new ‘work-from-home’ routine.
Observing the changing patterns worldwide, life after COVID-19 will definitely change forever and we will eventually get used to a brand ‘new normal’.
Following is what can turn into real-life possibilities in the world after coronavirus-
Emphasis on Public Hygiene and Development of Health Infrastructure
People have quite actively and consciously imbibed the ‘wash-your-hands-for-20- seconds’ practice in their life routines. Frequent use of sanitisers and covering the mouth while sneezing has become the new norm. The spread of the novel coronavirus has provided us with an opportunity to eliminate unclean habits from our systems and develop a permanent habit of keeping our environment clean and tidy at all times.
These practices will be accompanied by a permanent boost to the share of health, research and development spending in the GDPs of nations. Health diseases pose the greatest threat to human existence and the spread of COVID-19 has proved it enough. Hence, the development and up-gradation of health infrastructure will be of great importance to the governments.
Emphasis on Immunity build-up
The new age enemies are viruses and infections. And these can’t be fought with weapons and even with world-class health infrastructure, as we are seeing in the US and Europe. A strong immunity level will surely help a human fight against disease. Regular exercising, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and consuming alcohol are some ways of improving immunity.
Work from Home
The pandemic has revolutionised the way people work. People are now going to question if commuting for long hours and working in a job with 9-to-5 timings is worth doing. Be it large companies or small businesses in the service industry, all are experimenting with the ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) ethics. The new trend of WFH is increasing work participation and is also enhancing productivity levels. People can now work according to their convenience and this also spares people with some ‘me-time’ and an opportunity to relax.
ODR and Legal Tech
Another sector that'll potentially see major changes is the legal sector. The way people sought justice amongst pandemic and how companies went about resolving disputes changed significantly during the pandemic and its likes to stay that way for good. During the pandemic we saw a gradual rise in the number of companies opting for ODR(Online Dispute Resolution) over traditional methods like litigation. This also means that emerging ODR companies will get more and more sophisticated. ODR has a lot of benefits, its primarily really efficient for Insurance dispute resolution and resolving disputes in the financial sectors like resolving disputes in NBFCs, lending startup dispute resolution or resolution of banking disputes.
Changes in Shopper Preferences
Housebound consumers all across the globe are satisfying their demands and needs through online shopping, and apparently, they are spending more than a year prior. While this change in the consumer behaviour can be described as panic buying in times of a pandemic, but if the condition persists and the global lockdown continues for another 4–6 months, we might see a permanent alteration in consumer practices. People would prefer avoiding shopping stores altogether and this would reframe the retail scene altogether. Moreover, this boost to e-commerce would also allow businesses to reach out to more consumers and would help build sustainable and safer supply chains.
The pandemic has led to the disruption of supply chains in and across countries. At some places there is a lack of adequate healthcare equipments, and at some places people are suffering because of not having adequate food to eat. This calls for the development of a ‘Community Resilience Model’. Community Resilience is defined as the “ability of a community to use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations”. Establishing such a model would involve the creation of a resilience response team that would mobilise resources to critical areas, education of the community members on preparedness at times of disruption, smooth production of necessary resources, etc.
The pandemic will be successful in breaking several norms and stereotypes. It will change the way we act and the way we see the world.
Working, living, travelling post- COVID world will surely be new and tougher one!