COVID-19 and some of the possible outcomes


COVID-19 and some of the possible consequences

By Duane Hewitt

The potential consequences to the COVID-19 pandemic are many…. Alcoholism and substance abuse, job loss and financial fallout, bankruptcies and business closures, stress, anxiety and depression, an increase in suicides, feelings of hopelessness and despair – the list goes on. But hopefully, there will be some upshots, a comeback, like a rebound, where people become more conscious of the difficulties and obstacles they and others face – and – it is hoped that a greater social awareness and consciousness along with more community and public resources are made available to help people in our newly changed world.

In some cases, governments will become more helpful and responsible for the sake of helping others. Is this wishful thinking? There are examples to validate that well-run conscionable governments can exist.

Workplaces will have had to change. Some of this will be challenging but some can be good. With effective distancing we are likely to see a continued decrease in the number of contagion-able viruses and diseases like the common cold and the flu. Office work is likely to change for the long-term. Telecommuting and social distancing are likely to become standard work protocols. Conversely, an increase in social isolationism will have many far-reaching effects. Small businesses and a variety of business-related services may not survive, which has a flipside human domino effect. In the face of Covid-19, it’s a time for gung-ho initiative and razor-sharp creative thinking to meet the challenges. 

Faith takes a leap forward. It might become more personalized, however, due largely to the effects of social distancing. And by example – just like education and schooling – faith might become stronger with an online presence. On the downside, there will be those who may just give up on their religious and spiritual convictions. But one thing’s for sure, God and whatever you believe him to be won’t cease to exist and won’t change on account of this relatively minor blight facing humanity.

Science comes to the forefront – possibly technology, as well. Necessity is the mother of invention. From the methods of containing and beating the virus to a multitude of other strides forward in the medical world, we are likely to see both short-term and long-term benefits. And many types of technology will find itself evolving for a new future. Not convinced? Think back to only a short while ago before we had microprocessors, nanotechnology, computers, smart phones, and the Internet.

The ebb-and-flow of products to market and how and what products are bought and sold has changed already. With it, the nature of retail and all it encompasses changes, as well. And how we shop and do our daily errands, including commuting, has already transformed. Medical masks and hand-sanitizing are now standard protocols no matter where you go. So what will become of this in one or two years?

People will develop a hunger for escapism. Movies, music, books, and all methods of rest and recreation will soar to the forefront as everyone tries to cope, and in so doing look for means of relief. On the downside, there will be heavy accounts of substance abuse, including alcoholism and worse. And help for such people, such cases, will be needed anew. 

Hospitals, social programs, and all forms of healthcare are also in the midst of changing. The heavy workload imposed on our front-line medical professionals and healthcare workers is far more daunting than many of us see. So what will arise in these highly disciplined and much-needed fields of expertise?

How and when we commute will be impacted. This may not all be bad. But we’ll be focused on social distancing while still trying to make life and the economy work as we commute or telecommute.

Overall, what will we, as people, do to transform and advance society; to help one another? How does social distancing impact our very human need to connect with one another? What about discussion groups and talk circles? Would such newly devised social cliques help us individually and collectively? Something will need to be done to avoid the problems that arise with isolationism.

Problems exist but opportunities also exist to overcome the negative offshoots of this pandemic. We have only to accept that we can help one another, and then get to work and try.

Copyright 2020 Duane Hewitt.

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