Let’s talk about the future, now!
Is this the black swan event that will change us forever?
Once we leave our quarantine lives behind and get back to the normal routine, the world will change. Some people may thrive in the commute to work, the coffee runs to Starbucks would be a refreshing activity, while others might miss the isolation, too. However, a majority of the population might feel anxious about the future, forced curfews, and experiencing a similar situation again.
As clinical psychologist, Ilene Green noted, “It’s akin to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It can be hard-hitting and might create a mental illness of its sort.”
The Coronavirus outbreak, having spread worldwide, will affect all of us; individually and also geopolitically. People are not tailored for such events. Therefore, rare events that come as a surprise and change the way we function have been labeled as Black Swan events. A book with the same name by Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about similar events in the past.
Floating with the Black Swan
The impact of the pandemic may also change how we visualize the future. This experience was simply a trailer of “nothing is permanent even after all the technological advancements” and how one small virus can bring the entire world to a standstill. A few people might also move towards an organic lifestyle, eating healthy food and practicing mindfulness to remain calm.
With work from home being enforced by many businesses, industry leaders might start thinking about the future of WFH, as it can be a good step towards enhancing productivity and efficiency. It may also lead to small or remote offices, and shifting populations from the metro to more natural locations.
WFH has always been a question, especially in the service sector with so many tools available and more to come. With first-hand experience in the time of quarantine, this might be the future.
Mental health may be at the forefront of many individuals. Living with people for 24 hours straight for many days has never been the first choice for Millennials or introverts.
Furthermore, People who have been multi-tasking all their lives are going back to the basics. This change is drastic and can have either a positive or negative effect on the body and mind. Interactions with our family can create newer or stronger ties and can also lead to more bickering and fights. In this case, therapy may be the need of the hour.
Tangled 2 — Market Mayhem
Financial markets going haywire can sprout a new approach to investments. Algorithms might be built to monitor such illogical steps. This might lead to less human interaction in the long run in the investment sector, leading to a spike in unemployment, and people looking to join new sectors.
If the epidemic continues longer than expected, people may be afraid to travel for fun. Stories from Iran, Italy, and China are terrifying but no blogger or traveler has shared their stories yet. If those are brought to light, many wanderers might not be interested in such travel.
In hindsight, there may be some who perceive life as a meaningless journey and bring back the 1970’s American culture with a lot of music, drugs, and people traveling without fear. Who knows what we will see next.
Faithful or fateful?
Many people believe that the government can solve everything by trumping the corruption variable. However, such epidemics can cause a shift in beliefs. A lot cannot be done in a situation like what we’re facing today, and it circles back to the faith.
Today, fighting battles with faith are unique. Many people don’t believe in past structures. Hence new religions and cults might come into existence after the outbreak. It might connect the organic universe and cyber inventions. The cult of tomorrow can also become the mass religion of the upcoming Millenium.
‘Purpose’ can come in the dictionary of mainstream jargon. People have been running for a long time and sudden breaks can make them think about what they have done in the past and the result of it. If they are struggling with themselves and are prisoners in their own houses, they might want to dig deeper into their life choices.
Philosophical questions can set up shop in your head quickly at such times, and a YouTube video on ‘Start With Why’ can shape an individual’s future. Who knows, people may start writing vision and mission statements for themselves in the upcoming days.
Learn from the past
In early 2000, the SARS epidemic hit in China. People were worried and furious. A whole region which faced the brunt of it started living inside. Online shopping took the country by storm and it was also one of the many things that made Ali Baba famous. Today, it is the biggest e-commerce website in the world.
In 2007–08, the financial crisis made people realize how important it is to save money for a rainy day. The ‘pool’ economy boomed after that. Uber, Airbnb and a hundred other businesses that we celebrate today were the subsequent results.
Back to the future
Based on past pandemics, the common denominator remains that newer opportunities or industries sprout, stimulated by the ’cause and effect’ principle. The effect might be drastic or gradual.
A new way of living is on the horizon, and that my friend, is an opportunity for everyone. Are you ready for it?