The Novel Coronavirus pandemic came out of the blue and completely changed how the world went about its every day living. It is true that pandemics are generally disruptive and make way for large-scale upheavals. However, the COVID-19 pandemic can be considered accountable for revolutionizing how the human race functioned up until its outbreak. Not only will it have a long-lasting impact on how we behave physically, the Novel Coronavirus pandemic will change how we think about most of the things in our lives. It is expected to alter our perception of the living experience altogether.
The highly infectious virus has claimed millions of lives across the world and continues to do so, without any vaccine ready to fight its spread yet. It has brought about a mental health epidemic for the global population who were largely unprepared to counter the sudden changes that the pandemic effected onto their lifestyle. Several people lost their livelihood during the lockdown measures that were followed in different parts of the world to stem the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Entire industries collapsed and still more are looking at being wiped out due to the pandemic and how the post-pandemic world will likely be.
Acceptance is Key
While most of us want nothing more than to return back to our normal lives i.e. the lives we led before the COVID-19 outbreak, a way back may not be possible. Resuming the lives that we were habituated to pre-pandemic might seems like a comforting prospect. However, we need to come to terms with the fact that the road back to that life may no longer exist. Indeed, the post-pandemic world can be expected to be a lot different from the world we had become accustomed to, before it. Every institution in existence is expected to feel the brunt of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. The government, work, travel and leisure all need to transform themselves to keep pace with the times.
How We Engage in Social Interaction Will Change Radically
Our lives will become even more tech-driven after the pandemic is over. Citizens of every age group are currently familiarizing themselves with smart technology around the world, so that they can communicate with their loved ones with the help of their devices. The strict enforcement of social distancing norms has forced the closure of restaurants, pubs, movie theaters and other public facilities where community gatherings were made possible. Governments and health authorities have recommended people to stay home unless essential. In such a social climate, public gatherings are no longer allowed nor are they desired for their potential to be hotspots of virus transmission.
Remote networking is growing in favor as an alternative to in-person meetings and hangouts. People are beginning to realize this. They are recognizing that they will need to learn how to keep in touch with their loved ones using modern communication technology. Even individuals who prefer to do it the old-fashioned way. Following social distancing practices will impact meeting friends and family in person, even in the rare occasions that such occurs.
The Way We Work Will Possibly Have Changed for the Better
The global novel coronavirus lockdowns necessitated the closure of public and private workspaces for almost every industry sector. Employees engaged in work which could be completed remotely were asked to telecommute to their workspaces online. As a result, “work from home”, which was only an option offered as a privilege to company employees became the standard safety measure all employees of such companies were instructed to follow. Individuals employed in these companies realized that the work that they’d possibly been doing for years, could be completed just as well from the comfort of their own houses. They did not need to subject themselves to their regular office commute. While some people perceived the time they were now spending working from home as a means to achieving better work-life balance, others discarded it for how isolated they felt from their office peers.
The Concept of a “Work Day” Might Disappear Altogether
Either way, the pandemic put a spotlight on the importance of having necessary infrastructure for enabling remote work in companies. Businesses which didn’t already have the technological tools and know-how to facilitate remote operations really suffered for it. They are currently engaged in building up this infrastructure to cut future losses. Market experts believe this is a wise decision on their part as the post-pandemic world will register an increased demand for remote work opportunities. More and more organizations can be expected to hire employees who will be allowed to work entirely remotely, shall they please. The concept of a “work day” in itself is slated to undergo a massive transformation, as companies increasingly begin to provide employees with the benefit of working flexible hours.
The Education Sector Will Become Unrecognizable
The traditional classroom is on its way out. E-learning may have already been on the upswing, but the COVID-19 pandemic has struck a decisive nail on the coffin for traditional classroom learning. The closure of schools, colleges and universities have moved all learning online. Lectures are now being delivered by professors on live video streaming platforms and academic school and college courses are being offered digitally. Not only is the medium of delivering academic lessons changing, entirely new educational ecosystems are being formed.
On the whole, academia is becoming less formal and more accessible for students. For e.g.: Educational institutions are beginning to extend students with the freedom to engage in flexi-learning, where they can study their course on their own time. Essentially, this means that students can now log in to their virtual classrooms from practically any part of the world anytime and trade notes with their peers located on a different geographical hemisphere.
Non-traditional Learning Approaches Will Be Favored
In addition to the changes in traditional learning exercises, self-learning will gain further in popularity. The global pandemic lockdown enforced already registered an increase in the number of people signing themselves up for online academic and skill-training courses. The COVID-19 lockdowns enforced as a safety precaution to safeguard the health and well-being of the people by governments across the world brought the global marketplace down on its knees. As industries had to grind their operations to a halt, management teams all over businesses had to cut down several jobs in their organizations to keep their business enterprises afloat. Hiring was frozen across companies and it was widely understood that the next market Recession was underway.
Individuals about to enter the job market or those who found themselves laid off realized the need for upskilling themselves to make themselves job-ready in such an economic climate. Consequently, e-learning services and course providers found themselves subject to unprecedented demand and continue to do so. The trend is unlikely to change anytime soon. Flexible digital learning will probably replace traditional classroom learning in the years to come after the pandemic.
How We Entertain Ourselves in Our Leisure Will Now Be Different
The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has instilled an appreciation for the outdoors and nature in people. We often forget to appreciate nature in our busy city lives, rushing from one engagement to another. However, the Novel Coronavirus has forced all of us to slow down our busy lifestyle. Air quality has improved in several areas spanning the civilized world with the severe limiting of traffic on the roads. The public has been forced indoors to observe social distancing and this forcible stay indoors has helped them cultivate a fondness for the outdoors. It is almost like our society is now perceiving nature with a different set of eyes. Even individuals who would never leave the comfort of their homes for a walk around the neighborhood are committing to running routines in their locality. All in effort to break the monotony of isolating within their homes at all times.
On the downside, commercial avenues for public gathering such as theatres and concert venues are shutting down. Content streaming platforms are receiving more business than ever and industry experts believe that even in the post-pandemic world, home-entertainment will continue to be preferred over attending live community events. Medical experts have warned that even after the world becomes risk-free of any more immediate COVID-19 cases, the virus will continue to linger around. Community events and gatherings will continue to be unsafe and inadvisable.
Local Travel Will Trump International Travel
The tourism industry, too, will suffer inordinately. At the peak of the global pandemic lockdowns, all travel was banned. As the lockdowns eased, gradually local and international travel was made permissible. Even now, most countries are not permitting international travel and even if they are, only essential travel is being allowed.
Nobody has taken a vacation for leisure in a long time and there is little hope for the situation to change in 2020. Travel and tourism operators and the hospitality sector are trying their best to tide over these times, but their woes are unlikely to end anytime soon. Traveling for work or leisure will decrease in volume in the years following up the COVID-19 pandemic, especially internationally. Local travels will be preferred instead, following strict hygiene and safety norms. Hotels and businesses that can provide ample opportunities for social distancing and following health safety regulations will profit over those who don’t.
The Only Way Ahead is Forward
Yes, the world will have changed after the Novel Coronavirus pandemic and so we will have too! Resisting this change will only make it more difficult for us to acclimatize and adjust to the new ways of leading our lives. The best possible approach for us to take now, is to keep an open mind and embrace the transformations we notice being introduced into our life. Afterall, any changes being brought about will be devised keeping our societal betterment and wellbeing in perspective.