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What Is Different in this Covid-19 Pandemic World? ... by Gustavo Leon

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

What I have noticed in today’s world with the Covid-19 pandemic, is a huge impact on the world economy and many industry sectors, and a huge impact on the life’s and well being of millions of people around the world. However, at the same time, I have noticed lots of opportunities to become creative, take advantage and make the best out of the current situation; the urgent need to quickly adapt to the new challenges; and the urgent need to become more compassionate and to collaborate with each other, if we want to end this pandemic and find true learnings from it.

Let’s go quickly through some of these.

The impact to the world economy is only second to the big depression in the 1920s, which is considered the worst in human history. Entire industry sectors have been severely impacted, to a point that perhaps they will disappear, or they will never come back to be the same. Take the case of business travel to attend business meetings or to attend training, seminars, conferences, or many other professional development events. Entirely gone. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the industry to quickly adapt to virtual environments and gave the opportunity to the raise of new ventures and companies who created new opportunities for jobs and more cost-effective ways to conduct these events. Justifying doing this in the future would be considered a luxury and uphill!

Another good example are Internet Shopping and food delivery. Yes, it is true that they existed before, but no one ever before this pandemic dreamed about these sectors growing to the point they did. Once again giving the opportunity to the raise of new companies or incredible growth for online shopping and food delivery, and new jobs working from home and making deliveries.

Lots of people became unemployed, especially in the tourism and oil & gas industries. If we take the case of oil & gas, this sector will probably never recover to the point it was before. The reduction on demand of jet fuel and car gasoline due to the pandemic was so dramatic that it created a clear case on climate change; quickly accelerating the move to renewable energy sources, and the use of electric vehicles and even electric planes, not to mention other technologies based on hydrogen and sea water. Many countries and companies have made commitments to become carbon neutral or to stop using fossil fuel or internal combustion vehicles as soon as 2035. This dramatic and rapid change is forcing many technical and professional workers, previously working in declining sectors, to learn new skills or to adapt their previous knowledge and skills to new emerging jobs.

Finally, yes, many countries have been very diligent and effective fighting the pandemic with quick and severe restrictions and now vaccination programs. However, other countries have failed, and continue to fail, to treat this pandemic seriously and continue to put at risk the efforts of the countries in the first group, which brings us to the point that without a concerted effort from all countries this, pandemic will take a lot longer than we thought to control and to eradicate.

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