The lockdown seems to be coming to an end. There are still many restrictions for nothing that’s not manageable. Someday the markets will open for business and theoretically, we will be in a position to live our life “normally”. All of us, to some extent, know that the new normal will not be the same normal that existed before the pandemic. The uncertainty of how different it is going to be is immensely scary. But then this is not the first time humanity has seen such a calamity. We have braved many such severe times and have always come on the top. This has all been possible because of our ability to adapt and transform at a rapid pace. This is how we are beating COVID this time and this is how we will prepare for the future.
Having said this, here is how I predict our lives are going to change in the long run
Healthcare would take the topmost priority for individuals, societies, and governments. The COVID virus has exposed any and all vulnerabilities in how healthcare is managed and provided across the world. Once this is all over there will be a public demand to elevate the level of healthcare services they get which would include making it affordable. This will now be one of the prime factors on how you judge a country before you decide to emigrate. Or even just travel.
Social distancing is here to stay. By the time the need to maintain social distancing will be over, we would have inculcated it in our personalities as a habit. Sales and Marketing people had been traditionally told to push for a face to face meeting over a phone call or email. That will no longer be true. Businesses will have to transform their processes to be online first. It is already happening. Zoom is now worth more than the world’s 7 biggest airlines.
For individuals, E-Commerce will see a boom as the people who preferred to go to the markets will convert. Banks and other legacy institutes will have to transform from the dinosaurs they were with the need for all the paperwork into agile fully digital affairs. Doctors will move to digital consultations. Eating out experience will no longer be the same. While most people will prefer to take away or deliver those who still venture out will see major transformations in the hospitality sector. Seating will be limited to accommodate social distancing which would mean most restaurants will switch to reservation only modes.
Domestic travel will see a boom. Local drivable tourist spots will be preferred over long commutes that require public transportation. International orders will be much less porous and the process of traveling abroad will be full of multiple restrictions making it less desirable. Goa should make a comeback as the people who were skipping Goa for Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc will be back.
Education will see a major impact on all this. Big-name institutes will lose a lot of clout as online learning platforms act as the big equalizer. Once the physical interaction aspect of the education is taken away which will happen as people prefer as little physical interaction as possible a lot of smaller brands will get an opportunity to compete against the named brands. Once the quality of pedagogy becomes the only criteria of comparison it would be much easier for any good institute to bridge the gap between it and say an IIT. This should mean quality education becoming cheaper.
Festivals and Social events will become more personal, private, and smaller events. Smaller weddings and birthdays. Fewer social visits and hangouts. Digital will again play a major role here with people relying more on tech to get in touch with friends and families.
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex