A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic and the world has been profoundly affected in so many ways. So many of us have had to adapt and change like never before. At first, the hope was the pandemic would be short-lived and we would return to normalcy with minimal impact. We were wrong!
Our lifestyles – on a global scale – have plunged into chaos, directed by measures, rules and regulations seldom seen in the recent history. The pandemic has forced many of us to communicate ‘virtually’ so as not to infect others with our seemingly potential transmission of a virus that knows no bounds, morals or ethics. Ironically, COVID-19 has made us more aware of humanity’s culpability when it comes to crises like global warming, waste (mis)management and the pollution of the very planet we all inhabit.
For many, how we used to live is no longer a viable option. Several governments have borrowed like never before to save businesses, ensure the health and safety of their citizens and try – valiantly and sometimes miserably – to stabilise their economies with stimulus packages that appear to have had negligible effect. Knock-on effects have included a dwindling in office building designs and construction; working from home for countless employees; a reduction of both cars on the road and humans using public transportation. Living and working from home is slowly becoming the norm, more so now since so many children have gone ‘online’ with their education, learning and development.
Globalisation – whatever that term truly means – has thrown capitalism a curve ball and has left many an economy in a downward spiral. This is slowly turning friendly nations into enemies, especially when it comes, for example, acquiring water as a resource for their own people and other ‘special interests’. The geo-political landscape has also changed how nations raise capital and boost GDP. An unintended consequence might be more conflict between a growing number of adversarial nations fuelled by a military industry complex hungry for war and profit.
On the other hand, the world of business will radically change and include huge technical progress. Unfortunately, our lives will become more ‘regulated’ by the apps that seem to be everywhere we look: just remember that when it comes to social media platforms, humans are not considered customers but ‘users’. In other words, the product being sold is not technology, but us!
All is not lost, however.
Just as technology has progressed at an unprecedented rate, it has allowed us to slow down and accept a more streamlined (and organised) way of living. As a species, Homo sapiens must always remember that technology should be a tool for good, helping us improve why and how we live in the short and long terms.
Humanity has written and read many a book over the millennia. We are at the crossroads of a new chapter in our evolutionary story and need to embrace – and accept – a new way of perceiving and living – within a new world governed by change, uncertainty and rapid development. If we don’t, many of us will be left behind.
Let us turn the page…