Read the following article and answer the questions;
The Post-Covid 19 World.
What will the post-Covid 19 world be like? Will life ever be the same? Will we ever do the things we used to take for granted like going whenever we chose without having to show we have permission to do so? Will we ever be able to in a crowd of people without the fear of being infected? In other words, what social changes will result in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic.
We are now living in a moment in history where major shifts in the way human beings interact with one another and future historians will regard 2020 as a pivotal point in human history where major changes in society took place. But first it is worthwhile to look at historical events in the past and how they changed society.
Social changes can occur gradually and go unnoticed but can also happen more suddenly when major global events break out. These drivers of social change can be sudden changes in technological advancements like the personal computer and the internet, in science like improvements in health care and in social movements like civil rights and global events like major wars, global economic collapses and pandemics. Recent examples of such social changes are the changes in legislation and social attitudes in the United States as a consequence of the gay rights movement, and the increased power of law enforcement agencies and heightened security measures as regards air travel after 9/11 terrorist attacks. Looking to the past, pandemics like the Black Death in the Middle Ages, which wiped out one third of Europe’s population, improved working conditions because there was a shortage of labor and this also ended feudalism and increased a trust in science. The Spanish flu in 1918, which killed over 30 million people but received little media attention because the World War 1 was raging concurrently, brought about a decrease in social trust and a reduced readiness to engage in social interaction. Unlike the Black Death which increased a trust in science, it brought on a turn to alternative medicine because people then were disillusioned with conventional medicine. Despite this, there was an improvement in healthcare and an expansion of socialized medicine.
But what about now, how will the post-Covid 19 turn out? As concerns work, a hybrid working model will become more common with workers having a flexible arrangement as regards whether they will work at the office or elsewhere. Of course technical developments are part and parcel of this new arrangement with office work becoming more and more digital and cloud computing more generally changing the way companies do business. Thus more and more business will be conducted electronically. This, of course, was already on the way but Covid 19 has accelerated the process.
Education has also been greatly affected by Covid 19 with online lessons replacing live ones. This trend is likely to continue after the pandemic is over and remote learning may become the new norm. Again, developments in technology will make remote learning more effective as more and more teachers become computer savvy.
As regards health care, greater support will have to be given to caregivers who have borne the brunt of the pandemic. Healthcare buildings will need to be made for adaptable and healthcare systems more resilient to deal with future pandemics. Developed nations will have the ability to do the above, however, if massive assistance is not given to the remaining nations, this is unlikely to occur.
The long term effects that Covid 19 will have on the way people interact with each other are difficult to gauge. At present, it appears that interacting via a screen as opposed to face to face is on the rise and it may become more significant and important to people’s lives in the future, perhaps more important than face to face relationships. Also, keeping physical distance from others may become thought of as normal and being in a place with a large number of people might make people feel very uncomfortable. Finally, mental health issues will probably be on the rise as regards loneliness as having meaningful face to face contact with people becomes more and more rare.