The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world forever!
By : Claudia Hall
The year 2020 was full of unforeseen and unpleasant events for mankind. Arguably the worst pandemic that the world has witnessed in the last 100 years, the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic has led to 2.29 million deaths globally and caused over 77 million cases, as of February, 5th 2021. COVID-19 has disrupted almost every aspect of life, right from grocery shopping to work, the pandemic has created some irreversible changes to the human way of life.
In 2020, several new phrases and words were added to the general lexicon, such as phrases like ‘social distance’ or ‘stay 6-feet apart’ to ‘flatten the curve’. Above all, the name of the pandemic – COVID-19, is itself a new term. The disease was officially named by the WHO – World Health Organization, on February 11, 2020.
Anxiety and depression
Although anxiety and depression were quite common among people even before COVID-19, the pandemic took a severe toll on the mental health of both adults and children due to various reasons, such as economic disruption, extended physical isolation and lockdown, fear of unemployment, distress of extra school work with lack of teacher assistance, just to name a few. According to a report published in August 2020, by CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) the levels of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts soared during the pandemic.
The new must-have wardrobe collection of 2020 and the next couple of years, is a small piece of cloth called a ‘face mask’. Due to the shortage of medical masks during the year (2020) many sewing enthusiasts started manufacturing homemade masks for their localities (with Canggu sporting diamante masks). Following this, many retailers and clothing companies started including masks in their fashion lines. At present, in many countries throughout the world, people cannot step out of their homes without wearing a mask.
Though children didn’t endure the most severe effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, they could still contribute to the spread of the deadly contagion. A large number of schools across various countries of the world decided to remain closed in 2020 and turned towards online alternatives to stay operational.
School closures have resulted in kids falling behind in their studies. According to the Educational Trust in the US, surveys have discovered that almost 9 in 10 parents are concerned about their children lagging at school due to closures.
Rise of Robots
COVID-19 has given rise to new concerns regarding physical contact in industries where social distancing is difficult. For example, warehousing, hospitality and retail. Robots are the only reliable alternative that can perform tasks like humans in these industries.
According to research provided by The Chamber of Commerce, often automation gains momentum during a recession. In the pandemic, many industries started employing machines to carry out tasks like cutting salads at restaurants, checking guests into hotels and collecting fees at toll booths. Receiving your parking slip at Sidewalk Mall and the Ngurah Rai International Airport has also been upgraded to a touch free dispenser. Online shopping skyrocketed during the pandemic. In short, robots will help in enhancing the productivity of economies around the world.
Getting a furry friend
With strict orders to stay indoors for an unknown period, many people decided to get a pet during the quarantine. The Coronavirus has accelerated the adoption of pets, particularly dogs. According to the Washington Post, many pet stores, breeders, and shelters reported an upsurge in dog supplies and accessories, so much so that the demand far exceeded the supply. Some shelters stated that the number of adoptions in 2020 was doubled compared to the previous year, and they had to resort to waiting lists to handle the sudden rise in demand. Increased adoption of pets, is not only good for animals that needed a loving owner and sweet home, but also for their humans, given the mood-boosting and health benefits of pets.
The normal hustle and bustle of cities dropped significantly as people were strictly ordered to stay at home to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result, carbon emissions across the globe decreased dramatically. According to a report published in the journal, Nature Climate Change, on 19 May 2020, the global carbon emissions reduced by 17% at the beginning of 2020, compared to the levels in 2019. As a matter of fact, this was one of the biggest drops recorded in history. However, this temporary drop in carbon dioxide emissions is nowhere near enough to undo the repercussions of man-made climate change. Richard Betts – Head of Climate Impacts Research, Met Office Hadley Centre, England, stated that “Although this might lead to the largest cut in emissions since Second World War, it will barely make a dent in the current accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
Development of a new vaccine is not as easy as it sounds and generally takes years, even decades at times. But advancements in technology have enabled researchers and healthcare providers to shorten the timeframe of vaccine development in the case of COVID-19. Researchers from various parts of the globe, including the US, were able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, take it from test labs to clinical trials, in just 12 months.
In conclusion, COVID-19 has not only had a physical impact of sickness on the world; the impact goes way beyond physical. Some families, including friends I know personally, have been separated for months and months. Some people have experienced loss of loved ones with the COVID-19 virus. Some families (including mine) have suffered through the indirect impact of the virus eg: suicide and loss of income.
We are living in an era that will be spoken about way into the future. The ghost towns like Kuta that were once overflowing with activity are now being photographed for historic reference, this intel from photographers that I know personally.
We often think and survive in our own bubbles to get through, which is our natural survival instinct. Let’s take a wider view and get perspective of what we are living, surviving and adapting through. This article just skims the surface, food for thought……
My own experience and observations