Beyond 2021, we will see a lot of changes in our society. These are mostly due to the Covid-19 Pandemic that started in the end of 2019. A new world order will be arriving. In chaos theory, the butterfly effect describes a small change that can have massive, unpredictable consequences. An insect flaps its wings and, weeks later, causes a tornado.
The coronavirus is more like an earthquake, with aftershocks that will permanently reshape the world.
The world after COVID-19 is unlikely to return to the world that was.
Here are some developments:
Work from Home (or anywhere in the world) If remote work becomes the mainstay, a lot of commercial real estates will be devalue. This will mean that residential real estates will recover faster compared to the commercial real estates. With work forces now located in kitchens, basements, and attics, what will happen to all those sleek urban office towers and their glossy suburban counterparts?
Physical retail stores will reduce, replaced by expansion of e-commerce. The pandemic crisis has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, with further expansion in e-commerce and increases in the pace of adoption of telemedicine, videoconferencing, online teaching, and fintech.
Most of the manufacturing or production is likely to be automated. Automation is imminent in the manufacturing industry because of ability of robotics to quickly and proficiently assemble products. U.S. workplaces already spend $95 million per year on employee compensation due to workplace injury. With social distancing and safety measures now necessary as well, robotics and AI tools will become increasingly prevalent. In the wake of the pandemic, companies have struggled to implement practices that can assure success no matter the conditions of the global economy. Automation can mean that success. The future of automation in manufacturing will be expansive. Before the pandemic, factories already veered in the direction of total automation. Now, as businesses seek to recover, the shift to additional automation might happen sooner rather than later. It is inevitable that this technology will make its way to businesses of all kinds. The future is automated. The question is how the human-led workforce will adapt to such a change.
China’s geopolitical rise China has successfully transformed itself into an economic and technological superpower, no one expected it to become a “soft power” superpower. This crisis can change that, if China’s crisis diplomacy continues and the perception endures that Beijing has been far more effective than the rest of the world in its response to the outbreak. China is the only country in G20 to have positive growth (2.3%) in 2020. Since assuming power in October 2012, Xi Jinping has given clearer indications than his predecessors that China is seeking not only to enjoy a central position on the global stage, commensurate with its economic and military power, but also to reshape, alter, and redefine elements of the existing system to better fit its views and interests. The Belt and Road Initiative is central to Beijing’s strategic undertakings. It is the backbone of the new world order that the Chinese leadership wants to see emerge, and its various components are used to engrain China’s long-term influence in the developing and emerging world.
Entertainment and learning shift from offline to online. It is inevitable that our usual habits will change permanently, especially in the case of our lifestyles. As many children are used to online learning, many will face a hard time trying to adjust back to human-to-human interactions. Online banking will also thrive after the pandemic. Expect many changes in our lives going forward, such as digital financial services, online entertainment, digital private education, online remote work and many more. Get ready for the world of remote everything.
No more full-time work, contract short-term work will be the norm. Companies will try to minimise permanent headcount and turn to more contract workers. The gig economy will expand — many workers will work on a temporary basis for multiple companies at the same time. The labour market will be transformed. The future of work has arrived faster, along with its challenges — many of them potentially multiplied — such as income polarization, worker vulnerability, more gig work, and the need for workers to adapt to occupational transitions. This acceleration is the result not only of technological advances but also of new considerations for health and safety, and economies and labor markets will take time to recover and will likely emerge changed forever. Maybe the online freelance work arrangement will be the future of employment. Full time 9 to 5 is gone, staggered shifts will replace that. Companies such as fiverr, flexjobs, solidgigs, freelancer, peopleperhour etc. Back to Work with No Fixed Address.
Environmental hazards from discarded single-use face masks and gloves.
Single-use items such as masks, gloves and plastic will cause tremendous damage to our environment.
Mobile devices will take over the world. As ARM processor chip becomes faster than x86 processor chip, the old desktop-class processor will have to move out of the way for the more efficient, less power-hungry, more powerful, faster ARM processor. With faster mobile connectivity by 5G, battery-powered devices will be everywhere. Examples of which are battery electric cars, battery electric planes, battery electric vacuum cleaners etc. We do not need to be connected to the power outlet at all times anymore. Our smartphones and laptops will last days on end without charging. Battery technology will become more and more important.
Eyes will suffer. As we spend our time increasingly in front of our computers and smartphones to do our work, to play, to communicate with our loved ones, we will eventually reach a stage where most of us will experience Digital Eye Strain which is vision-related problems that result from prolonged screen time.
Families shatter. Divorce rates are up. Many marriages soured during the pandemic. It is reported in countries that implemented lock-downs to curb the spread eg. China, Sweden, USA notably. Covid is causing a breakup boom. t’s old news that the pandemic is affecting many of our core relationships. This is because the pandemic has taken away well-established routines that offered comfort, stability and rhythm. Without these, this leaves partners with limited opportunities to “seek other forms of support or stimulation” beyond their relationship, which can put them under strain. More people are finding themselves trapped in a situation where they are struggling to cope with what is going on for them as well as what is going on between them. Like a pressure cooker that does not let any pressure out, the lid can eventually pop and the relationship breaks down. Additionally, relationship experts say the financial impact of Covid-19 is also likely to be playing a major role in break-ups, as people find themselves unemployed, furloughed or taking home lower pay cheques.
Spike in mental health problems linked to the pandemic. Stress and anxiety build up during the lockdowns. Docial isolation and loneliness add to the already poor mental health. Research shows that job loss is associated with increased depression, anxiety, distress, and low self-esteem and may lead to higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide. As for which mental health issues connected to the Covid-19 pandemic are most likely to last in the longer term, psychologists believe obsessive-compulsive disorder could be one of the main candidates.
Chronic loneliness brought on by social isolation or “a lack of meaning” in life during the pandemic is another major concern. Some people have involuntarily found themselves with fewer close connections in the age of social-distancing and may find it challenging to rebuild their networks. Others deliberately withdrew from the outside world to feel “a sense of safety” and may become resistant to increasing their social interactions in the future. When people experience stress in the outside world, they can detach themselves from that world. Once they experience this detachment, it might be difficult for them to come out into the world and socialise with others.
Migration Crisis More broadly, if and when the pandemic restrictions on cross-border mobility lift, millions of other people will seek to escape “red zone” geographies with inadequate healthcare in favor of “green zones” with better medical care. At present, almost all the countries that offer universal medical care are in Europe. Those with skills and “immunity passports” may well gain entry as some wealthier countries seek migrants to contribute to a consumption rebound and fill labor shortages. Within countries, the flight from expensive tier-one cities to more affordable provincial areas will likely accelerate.
Social Recession For all the history of humanity, people have been in family structures, people have been in groups, we’re evolved to…crave and rely on that interaction with other human beings…So when we don’t have that it’s a huge void in the way that we go about being human. This is something that has been …hard-wired into who we are as beings.
The questions remain: which industries will perish and which industries will flourish?
We will buy less clothes and instead opt for screen time to entertain us.
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 behavior such as remote working and learning, telemedicine, and delivery services. Other structural changes may also accelerate, including regionalization of supply chains and a further explosion of cross-border data flows.
There will also be a creation of new jobs, like local delivery services, which are experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand.
As history has shown, choices made during crises can shape the world for decades to come. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.