THE POST COVID ERA: THE STORY OF A NEW DAWN
©Meloh Owajinyi Isaac
“The Post COVID Era” This era has always stroked me with a mumble in my stomach. The global pandemic has always been a looming risk for decades, Covid-19 has come as a shock to the society, health sectors and economic sectors as well as governments worldwide.
And I think the Post COVID era should be a time to now reflect on all that has happened, pull together, and value what is important.
It should be taken into the recognition that after the COVID-19 era there will be a risk that the world would be changed into being conflictual and nationalistic. Politics could turn toxic as government fail or struggle to speedily control the pandemic and to ease lockdowns safely. This will aggravate discrimination in homes and jingoistic nationalism will also make international cooperation more difficult.
Governments will face gigantic debts. Many households and businesses were already heavily indebted before the crisis. Some will be able to raise funding through the capital markets, others will face ruinous rates for borrowing.
Investors will look for robust investment plans, competent leadership, and robust institutions. And many lives will be rendered unemployed as government and private institutions will have issues in settling all other workers, and won’t have any other choice than to let go of some of her workers. In short, the financial crisis is in the offing and without international cooperation, beggar-thy-neighbor policies are likely to deepen economic recession for all. Building on the jingoistic nationalism, there is a risk that some politicians will focus the anger and frustration of their citizens in other countries.
One scenario for the post-COVID-19 era will be political and economic forces fueling fear and conflict, deepening economic damage, eviscerating the possibility of growing out of the crisis, and aggravating divisions that the pandemic is already revealing.
After the COVID-19 era, urban commerce, cultural life, and political action would’ve been disrupted. Without major financial support, the shops that give cities their character, from restaurants to booksellers, will struggle to bounce back. Many cultural establishments like museums, theatres, and galleries will be shuttered and those that reopen will be inaccessible only to those with immunity or with access to a computer screen. Elections and public demonstrations may also be fundamentally altered, with many activities migrating to the digital sphere. The risks of intrusive surveillance and cyber-malfeasance are very real.
The processes that were once subject to national jurisdictions, be it political conversations, trade, and commerce, or national security considerations are increasingly migrating to ungoverned digital spaces.
It is clear that the coronavirus will accelerate this process and more permanently fuse our technological and social systems while encoding inequities and cleavages therein. Most pertinent to this is the issue of access to digital technologies.
Think of the pressure on governments today to deliver governance and services in the age of social distancing, the clamor from parents whose children cannot access educational opportunities or demands from historically marginalized groups who may not be able to work remotely.
Life, protection, and livelihood will all need to be guaranteed virtually and most capitals around the world will struggle to provide these. Rich countries, having suffered huge economic losses, might use COVID-19 as the excuse to cut development assistance for health and reframe global health as a limited “national security” exercise.
The pandemic could become the new excuse for nationalism, isolationism, anti-immigration policies, and institutionalize racism.
All these could increase inequities that already plague global health. Like many other crises, the current health crisis will leave a trace on how we interact with our environment and each other. Covid-19 will be remembered as the virus that stopped the world.
The response to the COVID crisis cannot be de-linked from these other economic, social, and environmental fault lines. The risks are interconnected and the solutions need to be part of coherent plans for rebuilding a resilient economy. According to the UN, Covid-19 has rendered 300 million formal economy jobs lost and 1.5 livelihoods lost in the informal economy. The UN is warning of the famine of “Biblical Proportions” in the post COVID era. Solutions to all these challenges are just a concept though.
So like I said in the second paragraph, the post COVID era is a time to reflect on all that has happened, pull together, and value what is important.
According to research, the virus has come to stay, and the discovery of vaccines has to be a real nightmare. Truth is, the world cannot be on permanent lockdown, so the only option is to work together, share medical knowledge, and ensure universal access to health.
One of the greatest challenges in the post COVID era is that millions of jobs will be lost, some financial institutions and companies involved in boosting the world’s economy will be broke, and poverty will set in.
In this scenario, the world needs an economic advisory council However, the world also needs new strategies to increase economic and financial growth in the post COVID era.
In addition, the government needs to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all. Thus, sustainable economic growth requires societies to create conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that will stimulate the economy while not harming the environment.
There will be a need for access to financial services to be increased in order to be able to manage incomes, accumulate assets, and make productive investments. Increased commitments to trade, baking, and agricultural infrastructures will help increase productivity and reduce unemployment in the world’s most impoverished regions. In times of crises especially a worldwide crisis caused by a pandemic virus, economic prudence is advised, priorities usually go with the following progression; National, regional and finally, international level i.e. taking care of your own house first (nationalism, partial protectionism, make sure you have enough citizens to engage in the active workforce even if it means delaying the normal retirement age), they engage with your neighbors and only then with the world (unless of course there are goods and services that either one’s own country or other countries want desperately).
Digital and local marketing methods should complement each other and help support sales operations. Economical fields should be preserved at all levels through collaborative and collective efforts at all governmental and private sectors locally and worldwide. Otherwise, it will be too difficult to monitor and guide economic/financial inflows and outflows, eventually, instead of a fix, the problems will tend to get worse.
Truth is either way there are always victims. Also, the government will have to put into consideration the capitalization of virtual technology such as ICTs in all sectors now and in the post, COVID era to ensure that economic depression is not too much.
The government will also have to invest in cleaner production technologies to reduce the cost allocated to pollution control and management. There must be a promotion of accurate data collection for precise analysis of socio-economic and environmental problems. Recovery from the effects of COVID-19 in the post COVID era means involving people and demanding their participation. Recovery means sharing new ideas for a better, more stable, and reliable social and economic evolution.
The world would have to trust people’s efforts, new ideas and revisiting tax models, economic representation of values, and projecting them into new shapes of governance. No change and no recovery will be made without cooperation as I earlier stated.
Democracy and being aware of pandemics or crises are elements of a dynamic world. Also, note, that COVID-19 has made a positive impact on the world today. The world, (Nigeria in contrast) has now recognized the importance of a digitally based system, and I believe that in the post COVID era, the Nigerian government will improve the growth of the technological world. Covid-19 has created a situation where no country can fight the virus alone but will have to depend on each other and also render help to each other in fighting against the virus. Which has created a room for togetherness in the world?
No doubt, many families of the world would be together in oneness again because of the lockdown. Unstable families will have no option but to show love to each other in order to be able to survive through the lockdown.
Which is a positive change in society today? Nevertheless, in other to be able to have a healthy world and a fast-growing economic and financial status of the world, eradicating poverty, we must strife as much as possible to embrace new ideas and work together in achieving a common goal.
Thanks For reading…💯🙌