- During COVID-19 pandemic, imports and exports were affected adversely. And it affected many countries. For example, the Automobile industry in India imports components from China. When China was fighting with coronavirus, factories were shut down and as a result, India’s automobile industry had to halt the production. Not just India, but many countries are depending on the imports for many products such as electronics, pharmaceutical ingredients etc. So, in the year 2021, companies will work on diversifying supply chains and countries will work on achieving self-sufficiency. This may lead to protectionist tendencies.
- COVID-19 came when the world is least expecting it. No country is fully ready to face it. Many developing countries have a shortage of healthcare professionals and medical equipment. Even developed countries have a shortage of medicines. So, in 2021, countries may work to fill this gap.
- As coronavirus forced people to sit at homes, the demand for telemedicine facilities increased drastically. In 2021, hospitals and governments may work to make telemedicine facilities more accessible.
- 2021 may bring more work from home jobs, as more and more companies are thinking of it as a win-win situation for them and for the employees.
- Virtual meetings will become more common. In 2021, people may not travel on flights just to attend official meetings. This will result in less carbon emissions.
- We have been fighting with climate change for a long time. United Nations member countries started working on the common goal of making affordable and clean energy accessible to all. But coronavirus pandemic affected the world economy badly, and every country is working a lot to uplift the economy. So, the transition to clean energy may take a backseat in 2021.
- As many people are now scared to eat out and are preferring healthy food to boost immunity, restaurants and food delivery apps may continue to struggle in 2021 as well. There will be more investments in the companies the manufactures hygiene-related products and raw foods.
- There will be more e-learning opportunities.
- People may save more money by avoiding unnecessary expenses because COVID-19 pandemic taught people that anything can happen at any time and so savings are important to protect ourselves in tough times.
- We have witnessed people stuck in other countries or in other states within the country due to lockdown throughout the world. After going through difficult times in 2020, people may want to stay close to their families. If it happens, it will alter the demography of many regions.
But there is hopeful news as lockdowns ease. Early evidence suggests that personal behavioural changes, such as hand-washing and wearing masks, are persisting beyond strict lockdown, helping to stem the tide of infections. In a June report3, a team at the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London found that among 53 countries beginning to open up, there hasn’t been as large a surge in infections as predicted on the basis of earlier data. “It’s undervalued how much people’s behaviour has changed in terms of masks, hand washing and social distancing. It’s nothing like it used to be,” says Samir Bhatt, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Imperial College London and a co-author of the study.
The future will very much depend on how much social mixing resumes, and what kind of prevention we do,” says Joseph Wu, a disease modeller at the University of Hong Kong. Recent models and evidence from successful lockdowns suggest that behavioural changes can reduce the spread of COVID-19 if most, but not necessarily all, people comply.