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How will coronavirus change the world?

Everyone’s seen the short-term change the world’s taken as a result of COVID-19, but what will the lasting effects of coronavirus be? Where will the world be six months from now? How about a year from today? What about the next decade? We will see massive changes across society and industry as a result of COVID-19. We can’t predict how things will change, but we can surmise the sorts of issues we may face when life returns to “normal”.

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Working

How many of you have already considered how easy working from home is? Did you realise that before you were forced to work from your spare room? In time, office workers may find their employer opting for fewer desks and smaller offices as they realise most employees can work from home. There may well be a spate of redundancies shortly after coronavirus ends as companies that furloughed staff realise there’s not enough work for all their employees. No matter what industry you’re in, the pandemic will have affected your business. The downturn in trade will lead to redundancies.

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Globalisation

Many economists are predicting globalisation to slow down as a result of coronavirus. In the US, China’s growing economy and military power have provoked the government to shut the door on Chinese technology firms, stopping them from gaining access to US technology and intellectual property. There are many reasons to believe that political and public pressure will force the world’s two largest economies further apart. Before coronavirus, long-distance supply chains were already in question because of their impact on global pollution. COVID-19 could be the nail in the coffin of this sort of international economic relationship.

Socialism by the state

We’ve seen Spain nationalise hospitals. In France, they’re ready to nationalise large businesses. And in the UK, we’re considering nationalising some modes of transport as a result of coronavirus. We’re also paying workers 80 per cent of their wage through the state through the Furlough Scheme. Will some of these short-term measures continue after coronavirus is eradicated? There’s a very good chance they will. You can expect further resources to be poured into the NHS after coronavirus. There’s a very good chance that more work will be created in that sector, and more public money than ever before will be poured into it.

Travel

In the short to medium term, travel will be affected. Confidence in the marketplace will take a long time to recover. There’s a very high chance that British holidaymakers over the next 12 to 18 months will choose Britain as their destination. That will have a boost on the economy, but, of course, that boost will only cover part of the funds the UK would expect to earn from international tourists. Across the globe, up to 50 million jobs in the tourist industry are at risk, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. According to the Centre for Economics Business Research, coronavirus will account for a 50 per cent drop in the travel sector in the second quarter of 2020, a 30 per cent drop in the third quarter, and a 10 per cent fall in the final three months of 2020. They expect the industry to return to normal trading during the first quarter of 2021. Overall, the global economy will lose £2trillion.

Social change

Coronavirus has shaken our collective sense of security, but there’s hope that this virus is teaching us to value each other. That’s great. Patriotism has heightened, but did the UK need that following Brexit? The nation’s already looking inward. Coronavirus seems to have narrowed that focus even more. Will the future leave us caring too much about ourselves and our families to have time for any other nations? Will charity appeal TV shows focus entirely on the UK in the future? Will we have too many internal problems to help other countries? There’s a very real chance that the UK will continue narrowing its focus over the next few years, partly as a result of coronavirus.

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