Covid -19 Pandemic: Lessons Learnt and the New Normal as we see it

Updated on 18 August 2022

What seemed impossible has now been achieved by a virus. The Covid 19 pandemic has affected everyone in the world, in ways big and small. The effects of the virus are far-reaching, and the world will never be the same again i.e. the world we lived in. The world after COVID-19 is unlikely to return to the world that it was. Many trends already underway in the global economy are being accelerated by the impact of the pandemic. This is especially true of the digital economy, with the rise of digital behaviour such as remote working and learning, telemedicine, and delivery services. Other structural changes may also accelerate, including the regionalization of supply chains and a further explosion of cross-border data flows. The post-COVID-19 world will be different in many ways economically, socially and health-wise. No one will come out of this crisis without losing something.

In “The Pandemic is a Portal” Arundhati Roy has quoted that “Historically pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between the previous world and the next”.

A few months back we were so sure about everything, uncaring about our environment, coasting along for more than half a century. But in one swipe, the deadly virus finished everything by locking us in our homes. The crisis came as an alarming surprise because it had new and unfamiliar features. A global medical emergency took birth. However, it is important to remember, that when things do not go your way, every challenge & every adversity contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.

What the world will look like after COVID-19? Many problems we will face in the next decade will be just more extreme versions of what we face today. The world will only look different, as we emerge from the crisis and decide to take action to resolve new problems and bring out a fundamental change.

History has proved that choices made during a crisis can shape the future. Today’s impossible will become the new possible. Synchronization and self-reliance would be the keywords. Lockdown has taught us to be strongly connected to the rest of the world. Never before were humanities concerns so aligned. Now the entire world is thinking about the same issues, sharing the same fears and fighting the same enemy. Everyone is living one day at a time. The world is collectively rocketing high on the Covid 19 graph and deep diving on the economic graph. It is a strange world, where life is being held to ransom by an invisible enemy. We are under attack by what was once our life savers - Proteins.

The world after COVID-19 needs to be inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Our goal of recovery must be full employment and a new social construct. The overall economic impact of the pandemic on the world economy is disastrous, the overall GDP is estimated to fall between 2.4-2.8% in 2020. Globalization will take a back seat, it will be deglobalization. The inevitable growth of nationalism and “my nation first” will push companies to localize and flourish national and regional businesses. The new business emphasis will be on reducing the carbon footprint, promoting natural and healthy food options and promoting hospital and gym hygiene as compared to investing in malls or hotels. Oxygen pods may emerge in urban centres to give a boost of fresh air. There will be more garden space and public spaces will be open and airy to reduce infection.

Home deliveries of goods will increase as we saw during the pandemic. Amazon was one of the few companies which recruited staff rather than laying off. Self-employed young people will support e-commerce by doing home deliveries rather than whiling away their time. These might serve as summer jobs and internships also.

Hospital care will undergo a major transformation with clear guidelines for medical practitioners. How long social distancing has to be followed remains unclear so new virtual health care may be the need of the future. New convertible ICU beds will find adoption. A shift towards virtual ICU where patients are at home with a nurse and monitor while the critical care specialist monitors the patients remotely is inevitable. There may be an emergence of new growth opportunities and diversification in medical practice like telemedicine, home health care services, non-emergency room-based family community care and proactive health care screening. Virus screening is likely to become part of our life, just like security measures which became ubiquitous after 9/11

Full and partial lockdowns in some of the developing countries revealed the weaknesses of their economies to absorb financial shocks. Most developing countries have a large labour force which survives on daily wages. They were deprived of livelihood during long economic lockdowns. Tensions built up between the centre and state governments in many developing countries on whether to keep the economy partially open or impose a full lockdown to reduce the spread of the disease.

Education has shifted from the classroom to e-learning almost everywhere. This might become the new standard of education. Post corona countries would also focus on expanding e-government services to enable citizens to pay utility bills, taxes etc. through e-government portals.

Information technology is one sector which will see the highest growth because of the increase in web-based conferencing. Home entertainment giants will rise. Hospitals and defence industries will find it more cost-effective to use robots and drones to avoid human exposure to the virus.

Tourism will come back but will take time. Countries will have to work closely with the hotel and resort operators to ensure that they provide an insulated and infection-free environment. There may be a need for travel coronavirus health insurance or a requirement for a certificate of vaccination.

Remote work is likely to become more common. Lockdown has proved that in many cases working from home is as productive as working in an office, this might be here to stay. There will be less waste of time for workers commuting to offices and spending money on lunches and coffee breaks. Firms might hire workers for 3 days a week instead of 5 days to give employment to more people. Business travel will reduce significantly with greater reliance on virtual meetings. Recruitments will also shift to online portals. In the new world, many social norms may collapse. Coffee shops and bars may rely more on takeaways and may charge extra for use of indoor space. Social distancing will be the new norm and individualism will undermine social, and cultural contacts including people taking public transport and attending social gatherings.

Sadly, however, the destitute will take to crime, cyber-fraud, drug abuse, depression and even suicide.

COVID-19 has sounded a warning bell- that despite our scientific claims and achievements, we are totally unprepared to handle a pandemic.

What is needed is a reboot of our thoughts to align with the new world order. We need to set “early warning systems” in place in society. We need to live in the present and not take experiences for granted. Life should be appreciated – small things in life like talking to friends and family, and creating and cultivating hobbies is important. We should not play with nature - because lockdown has shown us that the earth heals as the pollution lessens, birds tweet to their heart’s content in the blue sky, clear unpolluted water flows in the river, leopards, deer and even elephants have reclaimed their land while we were locked.

So, the only thing that matters ultimately is our good health and the closeness of loved ones. The wisdom of ages and now we know it.

The lesson from the coronavirus disease is poignant. It is a new struggle for the survival of the fittest in humanity’s post-modern evolution. It implies that if you haven’t got the strength as an individual or as a nation to beat the economic, financial and social pressures that confront you, the lease on your survival in a highly competitive world is due to run out soon. Is the world prepared for this grim scenario? Humanity demands that in the march of civilisation we take our weak and vulnerable along with us, even if we have to carry them on our shoulders. But this needs international consensus not to remain just a wish, but to become a reality.

United we stand, divided we fall.‍






Have a Question?

If you cannot find answers to your queries, please fill out the enquiry form or call the number below. We will contact you shortly.

+91 7223 002 000

Follow Us On