Experts suggest that the change has already begun
It’s safe to say that most people, including introverts, are looking forward to the end of the lockdown. Never before in living memory has the entire human race been subjected to pandemic as life-altering as coronavirus. So much so that its effects will likely outlast this generation, let alone the lockdown. Think about it, even though you’ve made promises to your friends to catch up “as soon as this is over”, can you really silence that little voice in your head that’s telling you to be careful while shaking their hands or hugging them? Will we ever be able to hang out as freely in bars and restaurants as we did before this pandemic? Will we ever be able to sit in a doctor’s waiting room and not cringe, even if it’s ever so slightly, when someone coughs?
The coronavirus pandemic has already begun changing the world in ways we’d never thought it would. That’s because it’s changed us in a way we never thought it would. So, experts believe that these will among the major changes that will take place in the post-coronavirus world:
1. Digital transformation of the medical industry will hasten
Traditionally, all pharmaceutical companies have depended upon large armies of medical representatives. These are women and men who go from clinic to clinic to introduce doctors to new medicines and products. The lockdown has taken all the boots off the ground. This is where medical apps are predicted to take over. Not only will they introduce doctors to new products but also connect them with patients who’ve suddenly realised that most of their ailments can be cured without having to step out of their homes. It’s like discovering Flipkart, Myntra or Amazon – the ability to shop for whatever you want without going to the mall. Which brings us to the next likelihood…
2. Online shopping will only increase
Flipkart started by selling books. Today it sells practically everything you can think about. We’ve come a long way from not trusting e-commerce sites to being almost entirely dependent on them. Almost every major supermarket has an e-commerce website or app that helps you shop from home. Even luxury brands have been getting on to the online shopping bandwagon. Closer home, local grocery stores have turned to their own version of online shopping, encouraging their customers to place orders on WhatsApp. If anything, our dependence on online shopping will only rise because no one wants to catch a virus at a shop.
3. Travel will reduce
This is probably a no-brainer. But while personal travel will likely be hit out of fear of catching coronavirus while on vacation, business travel will be hit for a different reason altogether – budget cuts. As most businesses and governments face one of the worst recessions since The Great Depression, everyone will be looking to cut corners. Meetings that were supposed to happen in person are already happening on Zoom or Skype; businesses will be inclined to continue this practice and restrict business trips only essential meetings.
4. Insurance companies are likely to see a rise in their business
According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, life insurance penetration in India is at 3.69 per cent and remains one of the lowest in the world. Investment experts believe that the life-threatening pandemic is predicted to change the cavalier outlook to life insurance and are expecting a surge in the sales of insurance policy in the coming months. Never before have we felt more vulnerable or threatened as we have with this pandemic. We’ve been made aware of our frailty and, indeed, our mortality. And that’s only going to mean good news for the insurance companies.
5. Work from home may actually be encouraged
It’s safe to say that we tend to look down upon the work-from-home culture. But if there’s something that these weeks of lockdown have shown us, it’s that a remote worker can still be productive. As businesses look towards reducing their expenses, it is not entirely unlikely that they’d prefer moving to smaller workspaces and get more of their workforce to operate remotely.
6. We will be warier as a people
Whether it’s a handshake or a drink by the bar, coronavirus has tainted practically everything around us. Things that were earlier only seen as being in a germaphobe’s territory – like washing currency notes and keys – are now the norm because we’re all very scared. Every time we look at someone extend their hand for a handshake, we’re likely going to be a little bit wary about taking that hand. As a people, we will likely be tad warier about our surroundings than we’ve ever been.
Do you agree? What are the other changes you think will happen in the post-coronavirus world? Share your opinions in the comments below!