Even if we like it or not, change is coming. Big change than anticipated. Covid-19 has already affected each life to a great extent. You saw things that you have never seen before. High death rates per day, locking down of countries, Planes grounding, Schools closed, businesses closed, and tourism industry collapsing. The government printed trillions of money, the economy in ruin, volatile stocks, and interest rate going 0. The consequences of covid-19 are out and loud. Yet, the question remains, is this all?
What happens next when things start to go normal?
The damage upfront is, however, a small portion of the pandemic. The consequences are here to stay for years to come. So, now the question is, Are you prepared?
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future. “Theodore Roosevelt
Hence, looking into the past, gathering information, and listening to the economist, politician, and scientist might help to get a better picture of days ahead. Therefore if you know the long-term consequences of covid-19, then you can be better prepared.
Long-term Consequences of covid-19.
Starting from December 2019 till 2021, the scenario has not changed much. The process of vaccination has begun in many countries. However, it has become a challenge for the government to vaccinate all of its country’s citizens. Far more the whole population in the world. Right now it is hard to say when the vaccination will be even available for developing and poor countries. Looking at past pandemics like cholera and HIV, covid-19 might be here for longer than we think. The consequences of covid-19 are here to stay far longer in each life, health, economy, politics, country, and globally.
More than 2 million people have died due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of February 2021. More than 1 million confirmed cases in 219 countries of the world. It is a clear indication that upcoming days in regards to health are very challenging. Loss of smell, taste, weakness, short breathes being some of the long-term effects even after the treatment. Covid-19 not only affected physical health but mental health as well. People who resisted the virus itself could not resist the mental distress it brought. Loss of family members, jobs, financial crisis, fear of uncertainty (how to stay positive during uncertainty?), loneliness has pushed people into having mental issues. During the Covid-19 pandemic, higher rates of anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were reported. Hence, there is no doubt that the consequences of covid-19 on physical and mental health will remain for years to come.
According to the WTTC research report 75 million workers at job risk as a result of COVID-19 in the travel and tourism sector only. Imagine the number, if added high-risk sectors indicated by ILO like manufacturing, wholesale-retail trade, arts, domestic workers. The figure becomes humongous. Subsidized short-term employment schemes by Europe to prevent job loss, direct cash payment to every American household by the US, Uk job support scheme are only short relief for citizens. However, such a scheme prevents foreseeing those jobs that will not return even if the economy recovers.
On the other hand, the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have not fallen with equal severity on all shoulders. COVID-19 have exposed existing vulnerabilities, and inequalities. Many of those with the most limited means have been the least able to protect themselves. Therefore, recovery of the economy is not the problem that lies ahead rather inequality, instability, and a huge wealth gap.
Pandemics have changed politics as well. The before and aftermath of the US election is an example. European leaders changed their policies and narratives more often during this covid-19 than in past years. Politicians are listening to the scientist and data. This pandemic exposed the power clash and plot between powerful countries. Covid-19 examined the capability of a politician too. Politics always plays a large role in the aftermath of any crisis. Therefore, all the decisions and policies made at the moment by politicians, either good or bad will impact the future too.
Covid-19 has immensely changed human behavior. Wearing masks and social distancing has become the norm. Taking good care of personal hygiene has become more behavioral. People are more aware of their immunity after the covid-19, therefore, inspiring for a healthy diet. Mass gatherings are impossible for now and uncertain for a long period. People are likely to be more conscious in mass gatherings even after the situation goes normal. People have adopted more of a home office environment so, many firms and workers will continue this norm. Such behaviour changes are likely to stick with most of the population even after the covid-19.
Globalization does not mean being able to travel and get information across the globe rather it is one thread that connects all. A virus from one part of the country can spread throughout the world within a short period and the whole world has to suffer. Covid-19 made us see that globalization means equal responsibilities, equal consequences equal opportunities. However, covid-19 expose the current state of globalization is far worse than it should be. It revealed the inequality and disproportion of wealth among countries. Some countries were quick enough to print money and share it with their community and many countries were underprivileged for any support. The fragility of the global supply chain and countries banning their borders. Fight for the vaccine among wealthy countries leaving poor countries helpless in the pandemic. The consequences of these kinds of actions from advanced countries might push people toward nationalism and wars.
What should you do to make yourself prepare for the individual or global fallout ahead of you?
5(Five) tips that will help you prepare yourself to withstand the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.
Learn New Skills.
Covid-19 has made millions of people jobless. Some of the jobs sectors might never come back again. The hardest-hit groups being less-skilled workers. Covid-19 highlights the volatile carrier that can replace any time in the future. However, covid-19 has also forced the high skilled workers to change their carrier path. For example, pilots are compelled to search for other jobs at this time, which gives a clear idea of the damage covid-19 has brought to every job sector.
“There are five important things for living a successful and fulfilling life: never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning.” ―Roy Bennett.
Therefore learning new skills becomes crucial to everyone in this time. Learning new skills is the first measure for preparing yourself in the aftermath of the covid-19. Regardless of age, gender and qualification you must say yes to new skills. This is the time one must push oneself to learn new skills. Learn the skills and choose a new carrier path that will thrive after the pandemic.
Being productive and creative is always beneficial to humans however, it will be inevitable after the pandemic. If in the past, your job did not require much creativity after covid-19, it might change. There will extreme competition in the job market that you have to bring something extra from your side. You have to make sure that you can offer what it takes. Creativity can make you stand out from others. Being productive means getting things done and, that is key to any job. Henceforth being productive and creative is a must checklist if you want to prepare yourself for the days ahead.
Everybody was busy with their own business before a pandemic. Unaware and unprepared for the future. And then covid-19 happen that changed everything. Covid-19 made everyone understands the domino effect of the virus. Starting from China within four months engulfs the whole world costing millions of lives and trillions of money. Thus, this is the reminder that we are not alone. Nobody is safe unless everybody is safe. Climate change is the next pandemic at our door. It is a global crisis if not act sooner, then the effects of climate change on the whole world will be more severe than covid-19. Therefore, it teaches us that everyone must be considerate toward other humans, animals, the environment, and the whole universe. You have to be mindful of your action and its effects. Small consideration at an individual level helps to bring change at the global level.
Taking care of Health & Diet.
“Health is wealth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Everyone wants to be wealthy but the sad part is wealth being represented as money and assets. Thereafter, each new generation runs toward acquiring wealth, compromising their health. Viruses and health crises are not new to human beings. Being healthy first hand is more important than acquiring wealth. Modernization has dramatically decreased the physical activities of the human body. So, exercise, walking, and other outdoor activities are most to remain healthy. Now many research and science have shown that our diet is equally important for a healthy body. “We are, what we eat” so we must keep our gut health in check (immune system). What you eat determines how healthy you become or you are. Therefore if you eat fast food and gut unfriendly food then the consequences are widely seen diabetes, asthma, lungs, high blood pressure. Covid-19 has shown us how people with this history are more vulnerable to viruses. Therefore, taking care of your diet first hand which eventually is the biggest contributor to your healthy lifestyle is the measure you must be taking from now.
Things are more likely to be hard for the average people after the pandemic. Rather than being fearful, one must try to develop courage during these times so that you can face the challenges ahead of you. Thus, you will not give up when things will be more difficult. It is far known what the government rescue plan might be after the pandemic? Who are to suffer and who is to benefit? Therefore rather than waiting for the government to rescue you, you must try to rescue yourself. Try developing courage and belief in yourself. Prepare yourself mentally that not only you can overcome this obstacle but come out as a better version.
Some of the resoureces for more deep insight on this topic.
We can only predict if the situation will be normal however, preparation should be the main focus. There is a lot to be done from the individual level to the government and globally. Many lessons are learned but if not put those lessons into practice damage will only be more severe. The gap between the advantaged group and disadvantaged group within a country or between countries has been exposed. Therefore government and policymakers must work to shorten this wider gap. Collective effort must be made by organizations, companies, and advantageous groups so that everyone can be recovered. Even after the pandemic, greater challenges are ahead therefore, preparing yourself now will help you not only survive but thrive.