The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill and has changed our lives dramatically. When will all this be over? Getting a definite answer to this question may not be possible but all we can hope is a return back to normalcy pretty soon. However, there can be major dilemma in everyone’s mind whether it is really possible to go back to normalcy or the present state is conceiving a new “normalcy” which is going to change our lives forever?
There are a number of possibilities on how the world will look like after the pandemic. Here are some predictions on what to expect from a post-coronavirus world.
Employment and continuous flow of cash determine the stable economic growth of a country. When both of them come to a standstill due to the nationwide lockdown in the majority of the countries, the economies are expected to fall like dominoes. The sustainability of the global economy now is under great pressure. With this, the unemployment rate in the economy will shoot up and there’s no doubt the world economy will face a severe recession in 2021.
Even if the lockdown ends and even after the pandemic is over, the countries are going to face serious economic problems. The pandemic has hit the manufacturing and service sectors hard. Businesses struggling with profit cannot provide employment. People are either losing their jobs or are in fear of losing them. With limited income, they will consume less and the cycle keeps on rolling, resulting in the economy to sink into depression.
Expansion in Telemedicine
When social distancing abruptly became our new normal, even the healthcare industry had to adjust quickly. Medical service did not limit up to the hospital visit or referring to a health professional. Based on a survey, 59% reported that they are more likely to use telehealth services now than previously, and 36% would even leave their current physician for a provider who offered telehealth access.
The trajectory indicates that telemedicine including video calls for counseling, remote diagnostic kits, and data-based diagnostic decisions will be on the rise. The data will guide decision-making about the allocation of resources to improve health and lower the risk of infection.
Increase in mental health problems
The ongoing pandemic is exerting the whole world not just physically but mentally as well. Social isolation, a disruption of daily routine, insecure jobs, daily doses of infected cases, and death can shatter anyone.
There’s a strong link between economic crisis and suicide and substance use. A study of the Great Recession found that for every percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, there was an increase in the suicide rate. In the long term, panic attacks will increase, nightmares will increase, and fear of illness will rise in a post-coronavirus world.
Challenges for Travel and Tourism will escalate
Governments across the world have sealed international borders and there is a suspension of all international and domestic flights. Coronavirus has hit travel & tourism quite hard. A recent report shows a double-digit decrease of 22% in Q1 2020, with arrivals in March down by 57%. This means a loss of 67 million international arrivals and about USD 80 billion in receipts.
After months of staying at home, many of us will be longing to travel but cannot do so. Others may be skeptical towards regional and international mobility. Either way, a smaller travel market will lead to an increase in the ticket prices. Considering the safety measures, planes, trains, or boats will plan to initially leave middle seats empty and empty seats mean a lot more expensive travel services. However, green modes of transport such as cycling and electric scooter may become popular for local mobility in a post-coronavirus world.
Growing popularity of e-Sports
Sports has been a crucial part of life for everyone. But, the recent pandemic has affected the staging of sporting events around the world. Some events have been postponed, while others have been cancelled completely. For millions of fans across the globe, weekends are now very different.
Amid a prolonged shutdown for traditional sports leagues, online gaming offers a key alternative for people at home looking for some entertainment. The data also shows huge growth in playing time and sales since the lockdown began. Several eSports organizations are booming as well. The global video game market is forecasted to be worth $159 billion in 2020, which is around four times the box office revenues ($43 billion in 2019).
Asian gaming giants Nintendo and Tencent both saw an increase in sales during the first quarter. The former sold almost half of its games digitally, a record that helped to increase profits by 41%, while Tencent’s year-on-year online games revenue increased by 31%. This signifies the pandemic may lead to the normalization of e-sports.
Digitization of Cash will speed up
The current pandemic has boosted the shift towards digital wallets and currencies. Contactless payments are already in the economy but putting digital payment to work has now become more important than ever before.
In China, thousands of banknotes were disinfected or stored for 14 days to eliminate the spread of the virus. South Korea followed this soon. In the US, the Federal Reserve has started storing banknotes. These have come in from Asia before recirculating them back into the economy.
Digital transactions were born out of convenience, but today, they have become a necessity. The pandemic outbreak can soon be a turning point for the digital economy to boom in a post-coronavirus world.
A new culture of remote education and work
Coronavirus is giving rise to a new culture in the world. Amid this virus outbreak and the nationwide closures, the digital platforms have helped everyone to get connected with each other.
With the changing way of connectivity, teaching has moved online, and work from home has become a new work norm. But for many people, digital infrastructure is woefully inaccessible, restricting them to study or working remotely as well. The digital infrastructure will continue to improve with time. Either way, the crisis will give rise to the strengthening of digital infrastructure.
The coronavirus pandemic has been the worst global crisis of this century. Until there is a vaccine developed, it’s likely that all of us will continue to proceed cautiously. Hopefully, this crisis can help us rebuild and ignite the spark of something better for humanity.