WORLD POST-COVID-19: MUNEETA ANEJA
January 25, 2021
"Sometimes Small creatures can cast a very large shadow", and that was true in the case of Covid-19 virus, a tiny little virus, which had the ultimate power to change the lives of people forever and transform the fate of this world.
Though we are in a much better state right now, with the thriving implementation of the vaccination drives across various nations with Moderna, Pfizer and Indian vaccines like Covaxin and CovidSheild, still one can't help but wonder about the changes, the pandemic has caused. Digital learning, work from home, Artificial Intelligence, global economic recession, fluctuating GDP rates and poverty and unemployment will be the centre actors for quite a long time now.
History reveals that this world has never retained to its same glory when taken upon with disasters, which tattered its soul. Whether it was, WW 1, WW 2, 9/11 world trade centre attack, things never changed back to normal again, they just changed forever.
These deadly disasters usually divide the world into a PRE- INCIDENT and a POST- INCIDENT era, where there's no going back. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we used to see and perceive things, it has added new words in our dictionary which we never knew existed. Sanitisers are more commonly available than the spices in our houses. It has become a priority today.
People are crippling with anxiety disorders, fear of isolation, depression, PTSD and are living in constant fear of, WHAT LIES NEXT? On one hand, some people are coping up with mental issues with time, and on the contrary, some are deeply traumatized by the untimely death of their loved ones, disheartened by learning the fact that the last moments spent by the patients were in complete isolation inside the hospital wards and I.C.U with the doctors who were recklessly working day and night to save their precious lives. The family members grieve about not being there with their loved ones in the moments they needed them the most, they grieve about not being able to pay the last respects or conduct their last rites properly. A hole has been created in their heart forever, such was the wrath of the crowned disease.
The social structure changed, norms of socialization went down, economy downgraded, the recession took over and gripped its wings tightly, health system deteriorated, the education system baffled, already endangered resources came at the verge of extinction, cold wars, the formation of international groups to exclude some particular nations, the imposition of high tariffs & taxes in international trade became the new medium of dialogue exchange amid nations. The pillars of politics started feeling powerless with the pace of time. Still, the states united all together, the nations united closely, and the entire globe became a single soul working with an agenda of developing a vaccine or coming up with the most effective precautionary and preventive measures to save lives.
BUREAUCRACY RENAMED TECHNOCRACY:
Bureaucracy has now transformed itself into technocracy with the dissemination of information via a digital medium, the invention of new applications for public welfare, e.g. Covid-19 tracking app, online registration applications, links, and websites to help people in dire need. The highly experienced top bureaucrats became the major policy-makers to chalk out the right measures, while respecting the government's intentions and ideology.
DIGITAL MEDIUM- THE CROWNED KING OF GAME OF THE THRONES:
The digital medium took over as the crowned king of the Game of the Thrones in the Covid-19 scenario. Amazon delivering groceries, Ola's getting converted into an ambulance, E medical supply chains delivering medicines, E vegetable shops, E grocery shops became the new superheroes of the supply chain. Automation and artificial intelligence developed with flying colours. To reduce the number of employees working in the industry,
automation has already risen into power with many malls & supermarkets across the globe starting the self tally system to minimize employee dependence. Now Robots are taking orders instead of waiters. There ain, 't much time left when robots will take up the entire charge of industrial work in a short period leaving a huge percentage of humans unemployed.
HUMAN RESOURCE, R&D, PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPT: A PRIORITY
It is worth mentioning that if the economic recession is causing such mass job losses and pay cuts, who will manage the employer-employee relationship at such a crucial stage and who will balance the employee motivation or manage the crisis. With the pace of time, the Human Resource, R&D and Public Relations department will be playing a commendable role in the backstage growth of these industries. With tough competition among people fighting for a single job, diligent HR professionals would be a pre-requisite for industries, so that they hire the best of all and focus on optimum utilization of resources. They have to further ensure proper engagement and communication within departments. The R&D dept would have to keep a close watch on rising competition and activities of competitors to match the pace of the market. The Public Relations dept will be playing the most crucial role by building and maintaining a good corporate image for the brand.
DIGITIZING BUSINESS WITH AUTOMATION & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:
Work from home, contract-based job, ad-hoc jobs and freelancing would become more common in the upcoming days as outlets won't be able to provide stable and consistent jobs. One thing that is guaranteed is the rise of the E-commerce industry, as small scale, large scale industries or MSME's will choose the digital path to flourish. Jobs for Web developers, graphic designers, web professionals will witness a spurt as businesses will look forward towards digitizing their business via E-commerce websites and applications.
UBI: ENSURING EQUALITY FOR ALL:
Many countries are already leading forward with the concept of UBI or universal basic income to maintain equality and a minimum living standard among its citizens. This will ensure their survival amid tough situations and economic recession. These direct bank transfers would immensely help the downtrodden, vulnerable and marginalized to rise back on their feet. Similarly, it could be a great opportunity for the younger generation, but unfortunately, it would become a bane if the money provided is used for unhealthy purposes and increases laziness among people.
WILL RACIAL DISCRIMINATION & STEREOTYPES INCREASE:
Travelling across international borders will further come with its own set of dos and don,' ts. There are chances that people may develop racial behaviour towards particular communities fearing them as disease-causing agents or carriers of the virus. The tourism and aviation sector of these particular nations may be deeply affected. This may caste a negative impact on society and initiate negative sentiments among people. Nationals of these countries may face job losses and criticism in other countries and have to return to their nation with their skills in hands unused.
HYGIENE & SANITATION ON A LONG RUN:
With the pace of time, various beauty and lifestyle industries may get involved in the business of hygiene and sanitation product manufacturing, as they will stay in demand for a quite a long period now. Many shrinking industries may switch their business to start the production of varieties of disinfectants, phenyls, hygiene based makeup & skincare, sanitisers, home cleaners. Innovations may be expected in them as well. Hygiene and sanitation norms would be quadrupled for public transportation in upcoming times. Strict social distancing norms may be soon forgotten, but cleaning hands, use of sanitisers, wearing masks throughout the day would be widely prevalent.
FOOD INDUSTRY: DISPOSABLE CUTLERY, SELF SERVICE OR PRIVATE BARRICADES:
The food industry will rise its hygiene norms, many restaurants and vendors may completely switch to disposable cutlery to avoid contamination. Glass or mobile wooden barricades may become common at some places to avoid much human to human contact. Disposables along with the tissue paper should be thrown away by the consumer itself in the garbage bin. Self-service would become common with less employee. Moreover, Digital apps will rule over fine dining or outdoor eating as people would consider it much efficient.
A STEP TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY:
There are chances that people will become more eco-friendly and switch towards sustainable and eco-friendly products. Laying special emphasis over the drastic effects of climate change, greenhouse gases and global warming, a part of the population will play a proactive role in afforestation, increasing the vegetation cover, reducing pollution, avoiding plastic use, recycling etc. Many governments across international borders can be seen implementing laws in favour of the environment. People will engage in more and more immunity-boosting activities like cycling, yoga, cardio, martial arts, power walk, gyming etc. Self Reliance, efficient & smart working would become the new post-COVID-19 keywords. Concerning India, The long-forgotten Indian culture and traditions have already made a drastic come back. Our Indian Namaste will rule globally over other means of social meeting.
The World will change for sure, but it will change for good, it will change for the best, for the best of mankind and nature and we need to trust the process, have patience and support our environment wholeheartedly.