Initially, Covid-19 looked like a local problem confined in China. It was assumed that any spillover effects to the rest of the world could be dealt with comfortably by central banks simply easing policies. Now that it is worldwide and the economic suffering seems to go on longer than previously estimated, it is time that we take stock of what we have lost so far and what we are likely to lose in the coming days.
No traveling for now!
Having imposed bans and restrictions in a bid to contain the pandemic, governments, and private sector bodies will be cautious to remove them. With travel bans and entry restrictions in several countries, the airline industry is set to lose $29 billion, according to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). It will take time for travelers to get over the fear of being trapped in a foreign country in the event of a related pandemic.
Forget about football entertainment on weekends
Let’s face it: the idea that English Premier League football will resume by early April is a grim possibility. That is a lot of revenue missed given that the 2018/2019 season generated over $3 billion. Many other sporting events have also been canceled. Compounded with the fact that this season’s Champions League and Europa League matches have been abandoned without completion amid fears of the new coronavirus infections, supporters will have to get used to an alternative means of entertainment, albeit safer ones that are possible with social distancing. The love for the game and crowded places like stadia may dwindle in the long run and take a painfully long time to recover.
For 15 to 20 years, China has been dubbed as ‘the factory of the world’. The supply chain sourcing has been interrupted by Covid-19 being that it originated from the most populous country. China being on lockdown affected the prices of commodities across the globe. The pandemic has also caused a strain in the supply of some goods. Sanitizers that were in plenty, for example, became expensive and very hard to get in most parts of the world. It is going to take time for the prices of many commodities across the globe to be steady again.
Probably no Easter holiday tours
We all love holidays. But how do an Easter people enjoy their holiest day when self-quarantine and social distancing are etched in their conscience. Can Jews celebrate their deliverance from slavery when there is a ban on mass gatherings? How do Muslim families have a good time during Ramadan when visiting mosques is prohibited? The mood of isolation and solitude has ruined holidays that were dear to many. All faiths, at the same time, have a challenge of keeping the faith alive during this period of quarantine. The opportunity to stream prayer services abound and this may change how we value congregating in the future.
No office gossip for now maybe we try online
Of course, not everything can be virtual. However, Covid-19 will wipe away many artificial barriers to moving several areas of our lives online. The uptake of online tools has been slowed down by powerful legacy players. There are so many offices, for example, that can do with less paperwork, to conserve the environment and most importantly, for efficiency. With the current calls for people to work from home, it will not be surprising when it becomes more acceptable than wearing a tie and commuting for hours to the office every workday.
With most stock markets in freefall, it is safe to say that Covid-19 has disrupted the global economy enormously. With entire countries like Italy and Spain in lockdown and with most countries having border restrictions, nearly all economic activities have gone local despite globalization. Most people seem to have cut spending to the most basic as I am likely to postpone my visit to the optician and you have likely foregone your Easter holiday plans already. This collapse in discretionary spending by consumers will bleed some businesses to their death bed.
There is also a question of how long it will take before the confidence of consumers and businesses recover. Policymakers across the world have accepted the challenge and have taken measures to make the downturn short and the curve as shallow as possible. Many central governments have announced means of making lives of their people easier, like the window to renegotiate current mortgages in some countries.
Absolutely, you will have to keep up with stressed parents at home-so don’t mess
Covid-19 will force massive changes in the education sector. With schools shut in many parts of the globe, the resistance—led by teachers’ unions—to allowing partial homeschooling or online teaching and learning for children has been vanquished by necessity. Time will tell if this genie will be put back to the bottle given that many learners are realizing they would rather have online homework or full or partial homeschooling. Online university and college education is likely to be more appealing.
No special treatment in hospital for monied
Novel coronavirus has tested health care systems and exposed some of their weaknesses, revelations which will lead to landmark reforms if it has not happened already, like the need for efficient pandemic emergency response mechanisms. Countries, where the leaders neglected their hospitals as they were assured of treatment abroad, have to act quickly to revamp their health care systems due to the current travel restrictions.
For decades, we have nursed our oversized appetites by eating more and more wild species. This greed has allowed animal microbes like SARS-COV2, Ebola, Zika, and now Covid-19, to cross over into human bodies. A global ban on wildlife trade, shrinking our industrial footprint and conserving our wildlife will leave us safer and wiser. Even though now we know better, more likely, we will see less directly relevant legislations.
Whether you have had an infection of Covid-19, waiting to see your test results or you are sure you are safe from its fangs so far, the painful bite of the new coronavirus is too profound to be ignored. It is clear that is may never be business as usual for many industries as the epidemic has come to stretch us to think about other options. Covid-19 will reshape the society in lasting ways, from hygiene levels to how we socialize. Wash your hands and buckle up. This is definitely bigger.