How will the COVID-19 pandemic change the world that we know for the better or for the worse? Over the past four or so months the pandemic that is COVID 19 has mercilessly roared through all parts of the globe. As an international body we have never faced a greater challenge, in unison we have had to sit and watch society shift into an unprecedented gear as we march on into a new era. The markets have taken a monumental wrap around the knuckles and the health care services are chock full. But that’s barely the tip of the iceberg when we begin to chisel away at what exact change we will see in an uncertain future.
It is natural to assume that all countries have been devastated by the non discriminatory disease and need time to recuperate. Well for one particular country this is nearly certain. China. In a recent article, Ian Cowie outlines the idea that we will be “entering a finger pointing stage” and that all eyes will slowly be cast across to the Chinese. Political titans such as Trump and other world leaders have and will publicly announce that repercussions will follow if China were to have been “knowingly responsible” for the leak of COVID 19. So there is an obvious international concern regarding the Chinese involvement and very probably punishments will soon follow. Nonetheless a trend of investors prising their money out of the Chinese emerging markets will appear. Similarly business tycoons will divert away from China and will try to center their goods nearer consumers. Thus China will surface as a weaker country. But what does this mean for the Western Hemisphere? If industry were to come back knocking on our doorstep it will help aid the economy potentially through job creations, supply side efficiencies and improved connectivity.
What lessons should we learn about how to prepare for the next pandemic? In order to answer this question we must ask ourselves, where did we go wrong. What can we change for the next pesky pandemic? Having an early warning system is critical in trying to thwart any future pandemic. Like any natural disaster we have early warning systems implemented for tsunamis and earthquakes, in order to prepare the masses. So why don’t we have one for a pandemic? Whether that is becoming more transparent with one another in international communication or having a reliable system in place to monitor a possible pathogenic source. Moreover we should have contact tracing software primed and ready, in order to combat the spread of any future illness. But most importantly we should have contained the virus from its most early origin. It is up to the responsibility of the local authority to not accommodate any room for the pathogen to proliferate.
Shortly following the outbreak of COVID-19 political and economic change has surfaced. It is estimated that GDP will decrease around 15 to 35 % in the second quarter. Therefore this economic turmoil will lead to the likelihood of more remote working, more reduncies and more businesses going bankrupt. Will the confidence once held in the economy ever be reborn? As a result of the coronavirus, politically there has been an immense change. In the UK the virus will have an impact on brexit communications, Trump’s presidency is under jeopardy, borders in the EU have shut causing chaos and China will face heavy scrutiny. So international issues begin to rise like a boiling kettle. Will this change bring new political figures to the spotlight or will it have a long lasting damaging effect on the globe?
Speaking on a more jovial terms, very much like Mr Leamons “good news”, we have seen an improvement regarding ecological conditions! Yes, every cloud has a silver lining… Satellite images displaying a decrease in pollution from areas such as China have swamped social media pages and we can rejoice. Earth has finally taken a much needed breath of fresh air (literally) and a weight off people’s morals has been lifted. The ozone layer is now beginning to heal itself and it all seems to be looking promising. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we aren’t likely to see any change to our ecological situation once we emerge from this crisis. Pollution levels are highly likely to accelerate back to where it once was despite government’s efforts. Globally governments are pulling up their socks and are ensuring that we have the “highest attainable standard of health”. Governments have taken steps into reassuring that the threat to the public is minimised even if we have our freedom limited. This lack of freedom that all of us are likely to experience during our time on the corna coaster ride is for greater good. It makes all of us ask questions surrounding our everyday life like : Should I use public transport? Do I go to work when I can stay safe at home? Do I wear masks in public? These questions are all running through our minds. In the words of our friend bear “improvise, adapt, overcome”.