Covid-19 has turned the world upside down. Will we evolve and re-assess the systems we are using to improve our lives and the environment going forward?
Many businesses will close shop whilst others will find innovative ways in which to offer new products or services factoring in new regulations and discontinuing draconian methods of business.
A fundamental schism has recently occurred in our world, ushering in a definite pre and post virus era. For many day-to-day survival is the only item on the agenda at the moment. Yet after this apocalyptic pandemic what kind of normal will we be returning to? Will we revert to old, outdated ways or will we come up with innovative solutions with which we can move forward and at the same time help create a better, more efficient world?
Time to introspect
What Covid-19 has done is put everyone on pause. A time to take stock of the way we live and do things. On a daily basis many have been so consumed with work, watching television being entertained to escape. Constantly running on the treadmill of life to make ends meet. Never enough time to think about our well being, the well being of our families and communities and also our environment. What are we consuming mentally and physically? What are we placing our attention on? Who are we spending our time with?
Consumerism, keeps us busy and sucks us into buying stuff to keep us entertained, filling a void. Sites like Netflix keeps us entertained, numbing us from reality. However, there is so much more to life. How we treat ourselves, others, animals and how we treat our environment should be on top of our minds going forward. What can we do to ensure we don’t do what has been done before? How can we make the world a better place for all who live on this planet?
Income and distributing the wealth
Do we ever stop to ponder how distorted society has become where film stars, musicians, sports professionals are paid millions for entertaining us while essential workers such as nurses, garbage guys, cleaners, cashiers are paid a pittance for the services they offer? Everyone in a sense is an essential worker without the rubbish guy, the street cleaner, the receptionist, the gardener we can’t function efficiently as a society.
Will politicians, CEO’s, directors and shareholders rethink the amount of income they earn every year? Does a person really need to earn R3.1 Mill a year as the president or earn R70k a day as a retail boss? There is nothing wrong with earning millions but not when it is at the expense of your employees or the country.
Some companies and politicians have taken a reduction in their income to help their staff through this pandemic and if they can do this during a pandemic then it is possible for them to do it permanently to help employees earn a dignified income not having to live from pay cheque to pay cheque.
Working from home
Recent events has changed the trend trajectory of how businesses are organised. Up until recently employers were resistant in allowing their employees to work from home, giving all sorts of reasons as to why it was not possible. The spread of the Covid-19, has forced businesses to re-evaluate how day-to-day business is being conducted, from working conditions to meetings. Contingency plans have been rolled out to promote remote working and business owners now have to rethink their outdated practices. After lockdown, will businesses continue to reinvent the concept of ‘office’ to maintain social distancing habits? If it is possible in a lockdown, then it is possible going forward which would create a better work-life balance for office workers and it would contribute to reducing carbon emissions and traffic on roads. South African’s lose 5 days a year just sitting in traffic.
Education and family responsibilities
Many jokes were shared online where parents were not able to handle their children and some were begging for schools and teachers to open so their kids could get back to school. Perhaps this experience has given parents the opportunity to see how their children behave and begin to support teachers in their efforts to educate their children.
There is a mindset in our society that it is the norm to have a child. Grants are given encouraging people to have children without giving a second thought as to what it takes to develop a responsible adult that will be a positive contribution to society. Will people think twice about having more children and think about what it takes to raise a child? There is more to just feeding and clothing a child. Educating and taking the time to develop a child into an adult who will be mindful, respecting others and their environment should be a parent’s top priority.
Quarantine has also had a knock-on effect on education with pupils and students unable to attend classes. The outdated educational systems in operation are failing our future workforce and entrepreneurs. A total revamp needs to be considered, in which a move to online platforms is implemented integrating classroom and distance learning. Will online learning become the new norm making out dated educational practices obsolete? A+ Students is one such business who has taken their learning online making it easier for children to have access to education.
Local is lekker and community
We lived in a world where its every man/woman for himself. This pandemic has shown us the importance of working more collectively. Helping one another, whether it be cooking a meal for your neighbour, sponsoring a shopping voucher for someone who lives in a shack or taking in a stray animal who needs love and care. More love is needed all round.
When business re-opens will you support small businesses to sustain themselves and provide more jobs? Creating local products, growing locally would help countries and communities become more self-sufficient and autonomous in the use of their natural resources.
Retail and E-Commerce
An attitude of ‘use it up’, ‘wear it out’ and ‘make do, or do without’ may linger after the covid-19 pandemic as people have been forced to make do without which makes one wonder “do I really need this stuff?”
Online shopping may be the new norm in countries where it is still not so popular to continue social distancing. Franchises will have to look at pandemic policies being written into agreements if not already in place. Small business, restaurants, bars, courier services will need to take stock of what is needed going forward and implement necessary changes to re-establish the economy.
Robotics, Healthcare and other Sectors
With industry 4.0, the Corona virus scare will we be more open to robotics. Tygerberg hospital and many hospitals worldwide have introduced robots to help doctors check on patients for the Covid-19. Will this become the norm? What other industry sectors will introduce robots into their businesses to maintain safety and hygiene.
It is evident, that once this crisis is over, we will have to rethink and reinvent the ways in which we operate on a multitude of levels. Near-term survival needs to shift to long-term goals, to ensure the safe continuation of our world. To quote Courtney C Stevens: ‘If nothing changes, nothing changes’