15 Things the Covid-19 Crisis May Change Forever
The Covid-19 crisis is modifying how we live, work, shop and learn, and many of those changes may quickly become the new normal. In some cases the crisis is simply accelerating an ongoing trend, but in others we were forced to adapt and found we liked it, or, at least, could live with it.
Don't get me wrong, most of us are looking forward to getting back to the old normal; concerts, jobs, sports, and vacations abroad, but some of the changes we have experienced will reshape society permanently. Consider these 15.
1. Shopping online will become the new normal and few large department store chains will survive. Many retail chains were already struggling and COVID-19 will push them over the edge. Growing operating costs such as rent, utilities, insurance and staffing, and the threat from online retailers have all undermined the traditional retail model. The current crisis will just be the last nail for many.
2. Telemedicine will expand. As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, we are witnessing an acceleration in the adoption and acceptance of digital health solutions and we can expect telemedicine to become an integral part of our health care system in the future. It's a more efficient way to provide care to many patients and can reduce costs. And many physicians who once resisted telemedicine, now admit that it can actually improve the care their patients receive.
3. Big government is back! Nothing like a depression or a pandemic to change one's view of government. Millions of Americans will only survive the crisis because of government assistance checks.
4. Higher education adapts and moves to the virtual classroom. Some of the changes we are seeing right now in education are here to stay. Although professors will always be integral to the education process, online learning has economic advantages that many cash-strapped universities will find enticing. By letting students learn from home, colleges can allow more students to take the same class simultaneously, while students enjoy the freedom to view lectures at their convenience.
5. Increasing the minimum wage. During the crisis, low-wage retail workers have become heroes. Hell yes, they deserve a salary bump.
6. Many of us will never go back to the office. Because of Covid-19 we are witnessing a huge work from home experiment, and everything seems to be going fine. There was already a trend toward telecommuting, but the current crisis will greatly accelerate the process. And, mostly, it's a win-win-win; no commutes for staff, less smog and traffic for cities, and no commercial real estate expenses for employers.
7. Drive-in movies. There are a few drive-in movie theaters left in the US, and boy do I wish I lived near one; the perfect pandemic entertainment option.
8. Less business travel. Business-people across the globe are learning that Zoom meetings can be just as productive, almost as personal, and save them tons of money and time. Hotel chains and the airlines may suffer, however.
9. Washing our hands. Who knew that so many yucky things lurked on our hands.
10. Grocery pick-up/delivery will expand. Customers are discovering that supermarket pick-up and delivery services save a lot of time and that they don't really miss reading the current issue of the Inquirer while waiting in the check-out line.
11. The joy of cooking. Forced to feed ourselves, many of us have found our inner Gordon Ramsay, and we kinda like it.
12. Universal Basic Income. You know, that idea about a universal basic income doesn't sound so outlandish any more.
13. Expertise is cool again. Even his supporters are fed up with the President's childish, fact-free coronavirus briefings. For the love of god; please just shut him up and bring on those deep state experts.
14. The environment may finally become a priority. Perhaps the cleaner air in Beijing and New York, and the clear waters in the canals of Venice will inspire us to take better care of our environment. Perhaps.
15. The fam. Yes, this whole togetherness thing may be too much for some, but most of us have been reminded of just how important family is.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content