The social game has been changed. It is no secret that society has taken a hit – in a global scale – as it was not seen since many years ago. While we struggle and fight against the challenge that we have in front of us, the question remains, What will change?
Only a dreamer and unknown to the world would be brave enough to say that he/she has the answer to the question. The answer is and will remain 100% uncertain until it happens, nevertheless, it can be analyzed in different contexts and dimensions to forecast where the main impacts will take place.
For that purpose, the topic will be analyzed as follows:
- Social behavior
- Governmental funding
- Private equity
First prediction. We as social animals (1) might come back to the same social interactions that we had before.
There is no scenario where we do not come back to the same social no-distancing that we had before. It is in the nature of the human to feel surrounded by people and a sense of belonging to a society. Introverts and extroverts will come back to the same routines that they had.
Second prediction. Stockpiling will remain as a natural answer to the uncertainty. One article mentioned it already: “We’ve seen this before throughout history. Back in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, when nuclear war seemed imminent, American families filled their basements with enough canned goods and bottled water to survive an atomic blast” (2). As long as the time does not flow and something new does not come upon the society, stockpiling will remain for some years to come as an intrinsic behavior of the society. Important to notice, with a negative slope!
First prediction: In another post it has been already mentioned how the government has funded less and less (-in specific in some countries) to the healthcare system. This tendency will change.
In the coming years, military spending and other categories will receive less and less funding as administrations will realize the effects politically/ socially/ financially that a pandemic of this dimensions would have in the history books and their names.
It will be in the interest of new administrations and politicians to make sure that no pandemic will damage their countries in the same dimension this one did it. Health has come to be a top priority among citizens and societies above finances, and international defense. Most probably will remain the same way in years to come.
Second prediction: Globalization is a topic that will be discussed thoroughly in the governments regardless of their political affiliations.
Countries have been shown that international co-operation cannot be trusted when danger is being faced in a global scale. USA has shown no interest of international co-operation (3) and the European Union struggles internally to support different adversities faced by the European nations (4).
Production will be slowly shifted to local markets and a more relevant topic in the agendas will be the auto sufficiency and how to shift dependency from other markets or common policies to local producers.
One of many predictions: Disparity will increase. Governments have been tested to the limits, and results where not the best possible outcome. Funding (- and consequent saving) of top firms has been once more the first – and given current circumstances – best reaction (5). Saving the wealthiest for them to save the rest.
These actions will inevitably trigger a chain-reaction where more private equity investors will shift to safer sources of profits. Those sources will be found in blue chip companies that will create a vicious cycle where blue chips and sources of profits will be available for high socioeconomic classes and not for the rest of the population.
Second of many predictions: The healthcare systems will receive – in comparison with previous years – a bigger inflow of investment. The question truly relies on what of the sub-definitions of healthcare. E.g.; Funding for new technologies or funding for basic healthcare prevention? Question yet to be answered and highly dependent of ROIs and decisions yet to happen.
Last but not least.
First prediction: Sustainability will be the big winner in an indirect way. If governments will fund more campaigns of prevention, if countries will shift to internal market for auto-sufficiency and if society in general will prioritize savings/ basic goods above consumerism, in big terms the sustainability philosophy will raise.
Yet, some changes must be done in order for it to be efficient. Local certifications must be set-in place, businesses must be created and governments must shift tenders and sourcing programs to local producers.
Second prediction: With an increase in local production, the society itself will be more involved in the production of goods and raising awareness of those that require/ burn more resources, ergo, society in general will prefer those produced environmentally friendly over sourcing from regions of the world under unclear conditions.
- Baginni, Julian. The social animal. (January, 3, 2014) Retrieved from: https://www.ft.com/content/39a015c6-6bc7-11e3-85b1-00144feabdc0 on the 04.04.2020
- Lufkin, Bryan (2020) Coronavirus: The psychology of panic buying. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200304-coronavirus-covid-19-update-why-people-are-stockpiling on 05.04.2020
- the Guardian (2020) US accused of ‘modern piracy’ after diversion of masks meant for Europe. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mask-wars-coronavirus-outbidding-demand on 05.04.2020
- De Miguel, Bernardo (2020) La UE también lucha por su supervivencia Retrieved from: https://elpais.com/internacional/2020-04-04/la-ue-tambien-lucha-por-su-supervivencia.html on 05.04.2020
- Cochrane, Emily and Tankersley, Jim. (2020) Here’s What’s in Congress’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/us/politics/congress-coronavirus-bill.html on 05.04.2020