Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Sunday, May 31, 2020

After Covid-19

8:51 AM By Barry Smyth No comments

So, it's been a messed-up year. Covid-19 has basically stopped the world in its tracks. The number of people who have lost their lives to this disease is a tragedy that in some cases could have been avoided. Countries have responded in different ways, some faster than others. Emergency laws have been enacted to keep people safe, laws that for just reasons have restricted peoples right of movement with penalties in place for those that feel the laws don't apply to them, and borders have been closed globally.

Countries have reached into their coffers to help support their citizens as businesses shut down and people had their income reduced or in some cases lost their jobs entirely. Indeed, the impact of Covid-19 will be felt for a long time to come even as the world rushes to produce a vaccine that will ultimately stop Covid-19 in its tracks. But what will the world look like after Covid-19?

The world as we knew it has ceased to exist that much is clear.  The globalisation that we took for granted has highlighted just how quickly a virus like Covid-19 can spread and no country is going to want to take chances of this happening again.

The emergency laws on people's movement will stay on the books ready to be enacted at the first sign of any outbreak. Those businesses that survived with staff working from home will no doubt implement work from home policies as the new norm so that they are always ready. And those businesses that can't will look to other ways to protect themselves such as investing in automation as much as possible.

The hospitality industry, perhaps the hardest hit, will need to up its game. Initially we can expect cheap flights and accommodation as attempts are made to woe travellers back, but it will only be partially successful. Sanitation, disinfection, even sterilisation of guest rooms will drive up prices but will give guests the level of comfort they will now demand. Governments, if they are smart, will implement laws banning Airbnb or home sharing especially where those controls can't be mandated or effectively monitored.

Airlines will need to think differently too. The squeeze as many people on a plane to maximise profits will need a rethink, as will the use of recycled air on long haul flights. And just as we can expect an increase in hotel prices, prices for flights will also increase. I can almost imagine the new airline adverts, when you travel with us we provide you with your very own disposable hazmat suit.

Indeed, staycations will probably become the new norm given people will be reluctant to travel initially, a new booming industry in the making for those that play their cards right. Everything that we took for granted is gone, I wouldn't be surprised if public places such as supermarkets end up implementing one-way systems for our own protection (something they haven't done yet during the crisis which is surprising). Social distancing, masks in public and so on are with us for a lot longer than people may think, at the very least until a vaccine has been developed and widely distributed.

And we have yet to see the real fall-out form Covid-19. Companies that have or will be forced into bankruptcy, defaults on mortgage payments leading to repossession and/or eviction. That global tsunami is gathering force and its impact has yet to truly felt.

And on the global stage conflicts are brewing. The exchange of words between America and China has gotten increasingly heated and we haven't seen the end of it yet. China has implemented new laws in Hong Kong and threatened Taiwan as it continues to flex its muscle while America faces its own internal challenges lead by president who has taken to implement laws to restrict social media after he was called out for his own misleading tweets.

Anyone who expects to go back to normal once this crisis is over is going to be in for a rude awakening. The world has changed and we have yet to really understand just how much.

Whatsapp Line


Post a Comment