Challenging a new world of change

Vikram Gupta is a Dubai residents and a student of The Doon School, India
Vikram Gupta is a Dubai residents and a student of The Doon School, India

A young Vikram Gupta shares his thought-provoking piece on current trends

The novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 took us by surprise when the contagious virus spread like wildfire. Nationwide lockdowns become familiar as we saw China, Italy, India, and a manifold of other countries shut themselves off and administer lockdowns within, in which people were confined to their homes. So, how would the world be like after this pandemic is over?

Coronavirus has made a tremendous impact on our social norms. Social distancing or social etiquette is going to be one of the most dominant reforms in a post-Covid-19 world, where people will be more concerned about hygiene in public spaces. People may prefer to keep a safer distance from others and show much more solicitude regarding their personal space. I expected general cleanliness to rise considerably as habits from a long Covid-19 era should have stuck, and as we can see, public areas are requested to be cleaned frequently, and almost every individual carries a hand sanitiser.

Calling for takeaway gained significant popularity already, along with cooking at home, with people having more time to explore new skills. Parents may find it easy to engage children in cooking; those who enjoy being in the kitchen may finally have the time to explore new recipes, and some may simply enjoy learning a new skill. I firmly believe that people will emerge, having bettered their relationships after this pandemic is over. Spending extra time with those you love allows you to notice new things and discover different sides of a person. This helps in getting to know your loved ones better and connect better, allowing stronger bonds to form - however, another side of how relationships might play out is that of realising you may not like someone as much as you thought.

History is changing as technology makes, the once considered impossible, possible through apps like Zoom or Google Meet, which make things like work from home (WFH) possible. Almost all schools that closed down due to the virus reverted to online teaching through conference calls. Many firms may also shift to online platforms as much as possible to be 'pandemic proof' or immune to any such disruptions in the future. Therefore, many jobs and daily activities may shift online, creating a world that will be even more dependent on the internet.

Globalisation has led to every country specialising and relying on others for certain goods and services. This has helped us use our resources more efficiently and waste less time on doing something others are better at. Trade is a crucial part of our daily lives and the economy: we rely on imports for goods and services we can't produce, and exports for higher demand and revenue. Coronavirus has demanded many masks, medicines, medical facilities and sanitary equipment, which countries haven't been able to provide on their own because of their dependent nature on other countries for some of these products.

The question arises: "Can we be reliant on other economies for essential goods and services?"
Covid-19 has not only rendered our efforts toward free trade useless but also made us rethink the entire concept of trade. It may become necessary to be self-sustaining in the future as preparation for any such event that puts globalisation into question.

In conclusion, we are living in a new world, and those who can't adapt will not survive - after all, natural selection is a key mechanism of evolution. We have to mind our surroundings when we go out, be equipped with sanitisers to maintain cleanliness and learn how to shift more of our daily routine online. Every industry has to conform to survive and thrive in this new world.

Countries need to figure out how vital trade actually is and how to keep it going under unique circumstances. They need to ensure inequality doesn't break through the roof and restrain poverty. International travel may never be the same again. Will planes be reconfigured? How will social distancing be maintained inside the aircraft? The only answer is "We don't know".  

I would like to end with a pertinent quote: "Growth is painful. Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong." ~ Mandy Hale.

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