For a global pandemic that has ended about 5.9 million lives and infected over 440 million people, it won’t be out of place to name it the biggest tragedy the world has seen in recent decades as its impact across all areas of human endeavour remains undeniable. With the devastating effect it has on our social and economic life, one can only hope for the crisis to quickly end. Interestingly, the entire world is presently coming to terms with the use of protective measures like the use of face masks and other face coverings, frequent hand washing, maintaining reasonable social distance, and carrying out routine medical tests upon traveling from one country to another.
The pandemic in the early months literally shut down the world from schools to offices to churches and other religious and social gatherings. But with the arrival of vaccines, our fears were allayed to an extent and our hopes were restored. Teachers and students returned to the classrooms, religious places began to open, and business operations gradually returned to the status quo.
A lot has really changed in the last two years about how we live, and one can only imagine if life will ever return to the carefree world we once had; the world where we partied without a worry about getting a virus or where kids could hold hands and play carelessly at the playgrounds without a concern in the world. Global tourism was greatly hit by the pandemic and its accompanying inconveniences, economies around the world saw a downward trajectory, and both local and international businesses felt the magnitude of the crisis.
Since the pandemic already disrupted life-as-usual, it is unlikely that life after the pandemic will return to life before the pandemic. While we are all anxious and excited about traveling freely without a burdensome isolation process and wearing face masks, we really would love to take along the few fascinating “perks” that came with the pandemic. Remote work for instance seems like something that has come to stay, virtual collaboration has taken its place in our affiliations and virtual assignments of expatriates for multinational corporations might just keep being a working model after the pandemic.
Recent technologies that were created to help us cope with the pandemic will continue to be in use as we have all embraced the new normal. Maybe our social life will improve as we will be more at ease to physically connect, associate, and return to our communal style. Automation, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse will keep developing and they will continually challenge our willingness to embrace physical connection at the expense of virtual reality. Our social life presently hangs on mobile devices and a few phone clicks, and I doubt if post-pandemic that will experience much change. However, I am persuaded that a post-pandemic world will potentially relieve the healthcare sector that has been under severe pressure to ensure that lives are preserved, and fewer people get infected.
Global mobility will improve, tourists and globetrotters will jump on the planes again, multinationals will open more subsidiaries and our social gatherings will return.