A whole new world!

Parvez MurshedParvez Murshed
Published : 16 May 2020, 00:41 AM
Updated : 16 May 2020, 00:41 AM

It's Jan 1, 2022. Happy New Year!

This is not only the beginning of a new year but a great new start! The world has gone through enormous peril over the past 2 years battling against a pandemic that simply was too difficult to conquer. The world has finally won this battle once thought to be insurmountable. The much-awaited and often hyped vaccine finally came but by then a large population has already developed herd immunity. Our lives have evolved into the new normal and it is not the same as it used to be.

Everyone is looking forward to a new world and a new start but what does it look like? Let's take a glimpse.

Social distancing is the new norm

You will get a strange look if you come closer to anyone in a public place. Everyone has got used to social distancing so much that coming close in a public place is a taboo! Everywhere, people are staying far apart from each other yet more connected than ever before.

Movie theatres are a thing of the past

With Netflix and a plethora of new streaming platforms, no one goes to movie theatres any more. Hollywood now releases into streaming platforms at half the price of a movie theatre ticket. Fire up the popcorn at home and open the can of Coke as the movie is about to click start on TV.

Once upon a time, we used to….

So many things have changed. People don't go to the office any more. WFH (Working From Home) is the new normal. There are shared office spaces where people can come once or twice a week to re-boot their laptop but meetings have moved to virtual. Our streets have never been so free of cars and smog as commuting to work is a thing of the past.

Do you want to be a doctor when you grow up…?

There were not enough doctors, nurses, paramedics in any country during the pandemic to attend to the millions of impacted people. One lesson the world has learned that you can spend billions in building a nuclear arsenal that will never be fired but health care is so under-funded that it cannot even fight a pathogen. The real enemy within is far stronger than the global geographical wars that never happened. There will be incentives for more people to go to medical and nursing schools.

Where is my mask and TP?

At the first sign of an outbreak, we were out of masks, hand sanitizer and a mad rush ensued for toilet papers. More importantly, countries relying on food and essential suppliers across the borders in an interconnected world relook at their supply chain at home or closer to home. Cheap labour is no longer the attraction, automation pays for the cost of relocation of strategic supply chains. Local production is the new global trend and "Proudly Made at Home" is the new slogan.

Once there was a shopping mall….

Shopping malls convert themselves into hospitals and testing centres. Buying online is the easiest way to shop. With so much left over the shopping mall and office spaces, real estate companies restrategises to convert them into health care centres. Demand for delivery services has skyrocketed with more employment opportunities for courier and delivery persons delivering packages, hot meals from restaurants.

We used to go to school when we were….

Online learning and a global classroom replaces traditional school houses. No more rush to reach school on time. No school buses, no large physical campuses. A level playing field is created as students from all over the world signup for online classes on various educational platforms developed by the top universities and schools of the world.

Data is the new oil

The rush to 5G to enable and empower homes as offices, businesses and schools to operate remotely. Biggest winners are the telecom providers and equipment makers. The rise in demand for new powerful PCs, servers, home connectivity devices like we have never seen before.

They used to be millionaires…..

The sports world has resumed with closed matches in empty stadiums. Millions around the world still watch the matches on streaming devices but the cost has reduced and sportsmen and athletes take a pay cut. Olympics is a thing of the past, who will take chances with millions of athletes travelling across the world? It's now more bilateral and regional competitions between nations and the rich clubs that have survived continue to play in leagues. Star athletes no longer earn the millions they used to and rise of the new stars sourced digitally from all across the world.

Soul is at home…..

With places of worship closed for months, people now find solace praying at home. Religion remains the same but offered through digital channels and prayers at home.

Hello doctor…..

The telemedicine app replaces the visit to doctors at clinics. The video consultation determines whether a hospital visit is required. Why go to a doctor clinic and get exposed to other patients for a general check-up?

Beam me up, Scottie…

With so few people commuting on the road, driverless cars and buses have replaced traditional mode of transports saving millions of lives from road accidents, pollution and conserving fossil fuel. Interactive videos replace the need for air travel and face to face meetings. We now live in a more local world connected with global like never before.

With so much activity getting done from home, the smart home takes over with technology-enabled devices connecting to each other through the Internet of Things. People are living peacefully in a safer world with cleaner air and water, living a healthier life and learning to live in harmony with nature and looking forward to this whole new beautiful world with so much more hope than ever before.

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Views expressed in this article are of the writer's own and does not represent views of any organisation.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher