Whether you in self imposed isolation or into an isolation because someone unwittingly gifted you the virus- whatever the case is- the fact remains this is perhaps the biggest opportunity in your life- where you have your employers paying you to think further and beyond for your own life! (unless you are working for yourself or you have got those gifted employers who are tracking you by those sinister cameras on your laptop- to check if you are indeed working!). This article is not about checking what could have been done or not and what is being done- it is about trying to unravel the scenarios that will come to play when all this dust settles in the next month or two and the new world order will have reset priorities – for almost everything- how businesses are conducted with whom, how people travel and how they stay connected, where the opportunities are and who will eventually benefit from all this mayhem until the next big episode which will dawn upon us! – Which certainly will- but of course – no predictions here on the timelines for the moment! So here we go!
To begin with, take a moment to reflect how the world was just before this pandemic started to become one. In terms of the health of the world economy- Majority of the top economies across the world were in dire straits for one or the other reasons with each nation slipping away into ever-increasing fiscal deficit (this is one way of simply telling you that each nation has been living beyond it’s capacity to create and spend wealth- either through internal or external borrowings!). Next, what are the major events that happened as this was breaking out- withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan- Trade deal with China and Brexit. Now with global economies under pressure and still scratching their heads individually as nations and as collective groups of the G7, G20, ASEAN, You pick a block and you will see a trend that there have been meeting of each large trading or business block during the period preceding this pandemic. Well I am certainly not trying to suggest anything here, but these are facts and these meetings did happen and they did happen before this “pandemic”went live! Now hold your thoughts on this right here and let’s move into another space for the same timeline- just before the pandemic!
Travel and tourism- This sector too had been struggling for long for some or the other reason- whether it was the plane manufacturers, hotel chains or the average traveler- who again have been shifting and changing their travel patterns for the last two years because of economic indicators (which in turn have been equally shifting and dodgy on an ongoing basis). This complete lock down and a clamp down of sorts again has come as a blessing in disguise (whether by accident or by design- perhaps we will never know). To this add a slew of other sectors which have suddenly announced to produce chemical compounds, instruments, equipment’s- all aimed to fight this “pandemic”(some of these companies have never had their core competency in the longest time in history- for what they propose to manufacture and offer!). Now all these business will use their respective laws of their land to rejuvenate, re-boot (read- government write off’s on loans, waivers and job losses). Now hold this thought and try to think and see what your intelligence is saying to you! (I may be wrong- well the whole point is to make you think!)
More importantly, this is going to alter the hardwired approach that people have always had towards dealing with each other as societies! Ironically densely populated societies will emerge as more isolated and even more disconnected after this all ends and will end up being more self-centered (read selfish and self-serving) then before. However, the communities and societies across the developed world will find a new reason to practice heightened care for other members of their societies and emerge as more connected and and more empathetic then before! This will partly be because the way communication around the “pandemic” has been propagated and dished out! Human brain too, being what it is, will trick people form one segment of societies (which have high densities) to follow the norm that distance is good and will factor this into everything going ahead (anyways much of the human societal interaction and engagement has been shallow and self-serving for the longest times of history). When it comes to societies with lesser population density- the human mind will play the other way around- it will reach out on the note of empathy and care (as few number to a sparse society) will trigger the part of the brain where duty of care, respect and mutual affection (with now available access to medication) will ensure that health and wellness emerge as the top most priorities of those societies and will go on to reflect in every choice that they make- whether be food, travel, fashion or whatever element you want to choose!
Well, since there is a limitation to a blog, I can’t go on picking every space and zone of human lives and possibly discuss how I think those will be altered- but wherever you are and whichever society class you are a part of – you will see all this playing out right in front of you! In the times ahead- based on which society you are specific aspects will become costlier- say you belong to societies with high population density- travel, medical costs will go up and since this societies will get hard wired to social distancing and start becoming withdrawn even data costs will start to rise! Before anyone realizes access to transport, travel, data and healthcare will end up being costlier at least by 40% then what it is today- by 2022. This will further make the society withdrawn and fragmented within- and based on what type of a government you have- it will just help the people in power to gain complete control, which will finally rest with few people who will have a greater advantage to influence and navigate a fragmented society to a point that they want to! As far as societies that have fewer number of people- well they will be more resilient and will give away a lot of baggage and make the governments feel lighter- once these people start to take more care of their individual health- recurring health costs will start to come down and as these societies already have ongoing capped prices for utilities and services- there will be a flattening of the service costs to societies and people in these societies will be in a more advantageous position then the ones’ those have higher densities!
Eventually, in the smoke of the settling dust, from this episode; billions and billions of dollars worth of money and resources will change hands and ownership, simply to ensure that the world order remains sane (the way “they” want it) and to disallow “anarchy” (as “they” see it). This is just a step away and anarchy sets in once world leaders start to believe that they will not talk to each other! (which thankfully doesn’t seem to be happening at least for now!). If you are wondering who these “they” are- Well I leave it to your wisdom- possibly you are working for one of them in one way or the other at this very moment- as have generation before you and possibly after you will!
I leave you here, and hope you use this time to reflect on how you are changing and what are the changes that you will allow and not allow so that when the freeze is over, you emerge as a better version of yourself- that is the only hope that the world has for now- that each one of us emerges as a stronger and better human being from this ongoing war!
Ciao for now and have your coffee- if nothing else- it will keep you warm and alert! I will be back soon with another piece and that will be on discussing the probable mental health challenges that we face in times ahead!