What lies beyond corona?
SANJAY SEHGAL, CEO of MSys Technologies, looks to the future. How are we preparing now for what is to come after the corona crisis passes? And what do we need to learn about ourselves in order to create a “new normal” that is a better future?
BC and AD
For many of us, life is now defined by BC and AD: Before Corona and After its Disappearance. And like most people I can’t wait for AD.
Even as I write this, it hurts my heart to think how far we’ve come since the beginning of this year, and we haven’t even reached the midpoint yet!
We are progressively realizing that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t buy what’s truly important. Maybe God is sending us a strong message that we are his guests, not his masters.
As the lockdown stretches on, we’ve arrived at that trying period where the novelty of being confined at home has started to wear off. My days have begun to blur into each other, with the same routine (or lack of one), anxiously checking on the latest updates concerning the viral spread. But I’ve begun thinking about what fate lies ahead in the wake of this pandemic. It is a crucial time, I feel, to reflect on, “Where will we be in six months, a year, or a few years from now?” And there are two aspects to this – our lifestyle and the economy.
In AD, there are numerous possible futures
All of these futures depend upon how we respond to the pandemic and its economic aftermath. As the virus has spread its wings, it’s affected more than 175 countries, and, so far, has dented the global economy by an estimated $2 to 3 trillion. In my view, its effects will be more pervasive, and we are probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg that will snowball into something much larger. With that, I see hope of a rebirth, where we work together to rebuild a better world.
The last quarter has seen the most brutal global equity collapse since the Great Depression. Retail sales have dropped, unemployment has reached record highs, and some industries may never be the same again:
Economically, Covid-19 has expedited and deepened the expected economic downturn in many countries. Sectors like travel, hospitality, manufacturing, IT etc. are already feeling the burn from the outbreak.
Politically, the outbreak is highlighting the fact that most countries are placing their own security and well-being first, thereby decreasing trust in the various multinational organizations and pacts.
Lockdown is placing pressure on the global economy, making some world leaders call for an ease of lockdown measures in lieu of a serious recession.
Socially, however, COVID-19 will hopefully show us that we can absorb shocks and be stronger for it, as a global community. This is an important lesson that needs to be relearned by every generation.
What will the world look like after the crisis?
Someone once said that a crisis can make you better, but only with the right mindset.
We are now seeing solidarity among citizens of every country: 80 to 90% are currently favoring extended lockdowns, and governments are assisting those in need. So perhaps we are headed for a better normal in AD. As this new normal emerges, local production and all related technologies will gain speed. Entrepreneurial spirit will be tapped more than ever, when many businesses will be functioning as if they are new – functioning like startups.
At the same time, governments will have to repair their selfimage in the public’s eyes. Harder measures to curb fake news and foreign information operations will become the standard, both during normal and crisis times. There will be better infrastructure in place for emergencies, and organizations will be better prepared for people to work from home at a moment’s notice. There will be more pressure on governments to prepare for a rising demand in medical and social facilities, rather than a focus on nuclear weapons and defense. This is surely a welcome change.
I also anticipate the speed of recovery will be much faster than anyone can imagine right now. Bureaucracy will be reduced, all because everyone has joined together in their efforts towards a better future.
Even though there will be economic hardship, business conditions will improve eventually, by overcoming fear, negativity and other roadblocks.
It is a tough lesson for us to learn, that we know so little about ourselves. But learn we must, and quickly, for we need time to build a better future, and we must buy that time through the pursuit of knowledge.
Article by SANJAY SEHGAL
January 01, 2021
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