Our lives after the coronavirus pandemic


The new coronavirus pandemic is upending life as we all know it.

More than one-quarter of the world’s 7.eight billion individuals are actually largely confined to their properties, as governments step up curbs on motion and social contact in a bid to comprise the virus.

In many components of the world, borders are closed, airports, resorts and companies shut, and faculty cancelled. These unprecedented measures are tearing on the social material of some societies and disrupting many economies, leading to mass job losses and elevating the spectre of widespread starvation. 


Much stays unsure, however analysts say the pandemic and the measures we’re taking to avoid wasting ourselves may completely change the methods during which we dwell, work, worship and play sooner or later. Envisioning that post-pandemic world is vital in making certain we alter for the higher, not the more serious.

So what does the long run appear like?

Al Jazeera requested specialists in varied fields, together with medication, psychology, economics and know-how, to weigh in:

As the ‘analog world’ descends into disaster, tech companies will grow to be much more highly effective

Andrew Keen is a commentator on the digital revolution and creator of 5 books, together with How to Fix the Future. He relies in Berkeley, US.

The bodily analog world is being decimated, with conventional analog companies together with resorts, eating places and airplanes in disaster. The digital world, nevertheless, is prospering. We are surviving by means of this pandemic due to know-how. Everyone is sitting at home, and their window to the world is thru their smartphone. In the post-pandemic world, know-how can be as ubiquitous as it’s now, if no more, and tech firms will grow to be much more highly effective and dominant.

They are the long-term beneficiaries of this disaster; not simply smaller companies like Zoom, but additionally the massive gamers comparable to Google, Apple, Facebook and Paypal, and never simply American firms, but additionally Chinese. Prior to this, we noticed a interval during which individuals have been more and more extra cynical and demanding of know-how. But, because the pandemic will increase our dependence on know-how, individuals will neglect that hostility in direction of Silicon Valley, not less than within the brief time period. Tech firms will profit drastically from this shift in zeitgeist.

We may additionally doubtlessly see extra authorities use of surveillance. It is a helpful weapon to battle the virus – as an illustration, international locations like Israel are utilizing smartphones to determine who’s been the place with a view to observe clusters of the virus – however on the similar time, such strikes threaten to undermine particular person freedom and privateness. This is nothing new, it solely compounds and accelerates forces which have at play for a few years. Moving ahead, it’ll have an effect on not simply our capacity to cover from the digicam, however will even decide our socio-political rights.

This disaster will weaken an already weakened West and profit China, because it was the primary to expertise the epidemic and to get out of it. The technocratic authoritarian mannequin in China and East Asia, comparable to in Singapore and to some extent South Korea – international locations which are dealing extra successfully with the virus – now seems extra viable than the Western democratic one. And for individuals who care about freedom, privateness and particular person rights, the world after the coronavirus seems rather more worrying.

Less worldwide cooperation; chaos and anarchy in fragile states

Andreas Krieg is an assistant professor at School of Security Studies at King’s College London, UK.

COVID-19 will fast-forward the fourth industrial revolution and digitalization of all companies, together with public companies. The relationship between the group and the state will grow to be ever extra distant, whereby states are actually increasing their distant management over civil society and personal life. Amid COVID-19, the person can be sufficiently pressed to give up fundamental civil liberties in return for safety, which alters the social contract within the liberal world.

By promising safety, particularly authoritarians will exploit COVID-19 as a pretext to additional contract the general public area and devour extra powers to intervene into non-public lives. Digital know-how makes it potential to create delicate police states whereby state management will not be as apparent because it may need been as residents would possibly voluntarily supply non-public information in hope the state can present safety.

On the worldwide stage, there can be much less cooperation. The pattern of nationalism and self-reliance will proceed, particularly because the fear of the “external” and “foreign” could be exploited by populists. Most states are challenged of their resilience economically, socially and by way of public well being.

The public well being disaster compounds current home financial crises amid a world financial despair following the tip of the COVID-19 disaster. Fragile states can be pushed into chaos and anarchy, and there’s a practical likelihood that some regimes won’t survive COVID-19 as mass dissidence in direction of the tip of mass mortality will deliver 100,000s to the road to overthrow regimes whose legitimacy can be undermined by their lack of ability to manage the disaster.

Lasting adjustments in our habits and values

Pete Lunn heads the Behavioural Research Unit on the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland.

I believe many individuals will look again and see this as a time when issues modified of their lives.

Plenty of our lives are ordinary, and habits are extremely efficient in serving to us work, take care of our households and pursue our objectives. What a shock to the system does is change these habits. People work and travel otherwise, their each day routines and the very rhythm of their lives change, together with after they eat and the way they impart with their households. And when you find yourself pressured to do issues in another way, new habits start to kind. This would not should take lengthy – it may very well be as brief as a number of weeks or a month.

More than that, what we find out about shocks like this and system change is that they will have lasting results on individuals’s values. We know societies that undergo warfare generate stronger ties. This pandemic is much from a warfare, however it requires pulling collectively. And when individuals realise what collective motion can obtain, it may change how they relate to others, leading to a larger sense of group.

There are certain to be downsides. We do not know what they’re but, however this needs to be a tough time for individuals with poor-quality relationships, comparable to abusive companions, or these combating behaviours comparable to alcoholism and playing. Similarly, individuals who have psychological sicknesses, comparable to despair, obsessive-compulsive problems and paranoia, might discover shocks like this tough to cope with.

A revolution within the supply of main healthcare

Vin Gupta is an affiliate assistant professor on the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, US.

We have not confronted a public well being emergency of this scale in a century. It is exacting a large psychological toll on the world’s inhabitants, and there are certain to be requires motion. People throughout the globe will use COVID-19 as a robust justification to demand common healthcare. But the flexibility to reply to a pandemic relies upon extra on principled and clear management. And so there can be calls to raise well being safety to the identical precedence stage as different threats comparable to nuclear disarmament and terrorism. We may additionally see governments increase their capacity to deploy ICU-level belongings, construct up stockpiles of protecting gear and ventilators, scale up hospital infrastructure of emergency nature and rely extra closely on the army to battle illness.

In the US, we’re in for a reckoning. So much has not gone effectively right here, and that lag has primarily been regulatory. This can be an element within the 2020 election.  

We are additionally in for a revolution within the supply of main healthcare. Digital applied sciences will grow to be much more outstanding, and we’re more likely to see an increase in using telemedicine in addition to home testing. A 3rd of the US inhabitants already use telemedicine, and now, individuals presently don’t have any different selection however to depend on it. The extra they use it, the extra they’ll study to belief the strategy, permitting for the supply of quicker and cheaper healthcare. We will even see a motion in direction of individuals utilising home assessments, for sicknesses such because the flu or for prime ldl cholesterol. In that sense, pandemics are equalizers, permitting us to pinpoint what’s not working and in addition serving as a place to begin to scale and innovate.

The very essence of faith is in peril

Mohd Faizal Musa is a analysis fellow on the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization (ATMA), National University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

One side of life that has been badly affected by the outbreak is tradition, to be particular – faith. In some international locations comparable to South Korea, Iran, and Malaysia, the surge of Covid-19 instances have been attributed to non secular gatherings and pilgrimage websites. Never earlier than in trendy historical past have holy websites in each the Sunni and Shia Muslim world been closed for worshippers, to be sanitised or for safety causes.

In a month, Muslims can be coming into Ramadan, and little question the axiology (values) of faith that lies in rituals can be drastically lessened and disrupted. This is one thing know-how can’t assist to substitute. Of course, we are able to nonetheless respect sermons on-line, however with out the human contact and the sacred atmosphere provided by rituals and holy websites, the very which means of faith is in peril. This is so essential since rituals typically symbolize the essence of faith.

Even after the outbreak, the Hajj for Sunni Muslims, congregational prayers for Christians, gatherings comparable to Thaipusam for Hindus and the Arbaeen for the Shias can be carried out with nice prudence, maybe with restrictions on variety of individuals and new rules on sanitation and social contact. These group rituals give believers religious experiences, and with out correct engagement, that have may very well be undermined. In different phrases, faith – one of many greatest supply of tradition for the human being, the epistemology of society – won’t ever once more be the identical.

Coronavirus adjustments how Muslims worship (2:00)

Stronger world commerce and decreased inequality

Shanta Devarajan is a professor of the Practice of International Development on the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, US.

The Covid-19 pandemic is displaying us the massive financial value when world commerce, together with transport, slows down. It additionally demonstrates how dependent we’re on the worldwide provide chain, together with for medical tools comparable to masks and testing supplies. When this pandemic is over, my sense is that world commerce will resume and grow to be much more stronger, and any disruption to the availability chain can be momentary.

At the nationwide stage, this pandemic is forcing many international locations to rethink their social insurance policies, particularly social safety and healthcare. In addition, there’s an effort to assist employees within the casual sector. If these insurance policies, or some variant of them, persist after the outbreak, this can assist cut back inequality.

We are additionally seeing governments offering help to banks and firms to cushion the results of each the virus and the lockdowns. This is especially to maintain the financial system from collapsing even additional. There could be a shift within the insurance policies in direction of these firms after the epidemic, however it needs to be rigorously balanced towards offering subsidies or tax breaks after they do not want them.