Prediction: Some ways the Covid-19 global pandemic may change the world

Every major global crisis has fundamentally altered how governments and people order society. World War II lead to the creation of the United Nations, IMF, World Bank & present world order. 2008 financial crisis changed how we look at financial regulation. 9/11 attacks led to increased government surveillance, rise of terrorist organisations who operate like governments & higher security at airports.

Here are my predictions on how #Covid-19 may change the world:

The future of interaction is online. Instead of asking “why are we doing this online”, the new question will be “why are doing this in person”. People will ask if meetings should simply have been emails. This will affect work, meeting, conferences, religious worship etc

Internet as a right. Government and individuals will start to see internet as a necessary infrastructure. Since outbreak started, schools and work have moved online and people who didn’t without internet have realised their disadvantage. Internet will become as important a right as healthcare and security.

Healthcare professionals will receive hazard benefits like military presently do. Governments will consider guaranteed healthcare plans, pension and hazard protection for healthcare. In a war against diseases, those putting their lives at risk are the healthcare professionals

Domestic manufacturing will rise & several factories of the World. The notion of manufacturing in a distant but cheap place will come under scrutiny and China as the factory of the World will come under heavy scrutiny. Companies will focus on creating domestic ways of manufacturing and supplying important local demands. Domestic Value Chain will conflict with Global Value Chain. Some governments will insist on it.

Expertise matters. In social matters and thanks to twitter and TV pundits, everyone can have an opinion, but pundits can’t fix an outbreak. Post the outbreak, the world will revert to the importance of experts over general commentators.

New economics of welfare. people will demand for things like guaranteed income, waiving of student debts, guaranteed education. Given how much has been spent by governments in recent weeks, the old economic arguments will not be enough to dissuade people. New rules for welfare will have to be written.

Disease response as a basis for international condemnation. In the same manner in which countries condemn countries for supporting terrorism, there will be international condemnation for countries who don’t decisively deal with diseases, work on biological weapons or refuse to exchange information about disease control

Guaranteed income. A conversation on guaranteed income and other support incentives for young, vulnerable and poor people will take places in several countries.

Governments will be stronger, maybe even bigger. Multinational companies have their place, but the outbreak will remind the world on why governments matter and why governments can do some things that companies cannot. Some government may explore higher degrees of authoritarianism but it won’t last.

Remote work & virtual meetings will leapfrog. Working remote will become as commonplace as people commuting to work. Companies will have to spend more on remote work tools, tracking assignments & data security as people start to work more from their comfort.

Increase in family time. The mix of remote work and the sudden realization of how connected the world is will lead to a rise in family time, including extended family time. A lot of this family time will also be online.

Patriotism to the global community. People will realize that the things that happen in far away places affect them, so people will take increased concerns in what is happening in other countries. The world will realize our fates are linked in ways we can’t imagine.

A reversal of the tide of nationalism and polarization. Last few years has seen the rise of nationalism and polarizing politics and a massive criticism of globalization. The new common enemy, Covid-19, will remind the world of why we work together and that diseases have no respect for borders.

Online communication will change the meaning of close connections. People will start to place online interactions and friendship on same pedestal as physical interactions.

Increase in spending on researching bio-safety, bio-security, defense against biological weapons & public health safeguards and infrastructure. Society will realize diseases are just as dangerous as nuclear weapons.

Rise in global cooperation and information exchange on medical research and disease control and prevention. Funding will also greatly increase in this area.

Other areas in the healthcare field, asides medicine will come to Centre stage. Medical researchers, microbiologists, virologists will gain as much acclaim as medical doctors. Next wave of professionals will flood this areas, in same way they flood tech now.

Governments will be more drastic with penalties for public health negligence and carelessness. Higher regulation of companies researching biological weapons. Stricter requirement on cleanliness,diseases prevention and sanitary measures on citizens.

A rise in religion and faith. The luxury of comfort makes people question faith. People generally look to religion for answers to crisis and things they don’t understand. Religion & faith will come back to the consciousness of people.

Higher Investment in public goods. Some reversal of the brash effects of capitalism, and governments and societies will create new ways to invest in public healthcare, social security, public housing. Welfarism will also rise.

Online penetration will increase. People will adopt more use of communication technology and internet, regardless of their age of social classes. Governments will invest in helping people participate more online

Civic advocacy will rise. A lesson from the pandemic is that government invested in weapons as against other important areas like healthcare, and citizens allowed them. Citizens will learn and demand the areas they want governments to focus on and will do it louder and more aggressive about it.

Medical services online. A rise of online diagnostic tools and doctors’ appointment through online tools. Higher acceptance of use of DNA sequences for predictive medicine for diseases people are susceptible to. This may even become an acceptable part of general medical check-ups.

DNA data for dealing with crimes. The outbreak will provide governments will a large haul of DNA data. This will lead to reopening and resolution of some old cases, and increase in regulations on DNA data.

The Digital services industry will explode. Rather than go to a concert, maybe people will all just stream-in at a particular time. People providing all kinds of service will resort to digital tools and content will drive this trend.

Governments will become highly involved in medical and pharmaceutical industries, both regulations, production and even supplying medical needs and drugs. This is based on governments new view that diseases are as dangerous to society as insecurity.

Government online. Governments will invest more in online services and an extension of big government will be an online government. Legislature and law-making may move online. People will not have to queue for government services but will simply use online portals. Also the cost effective will mean it will be quickly adopted across a lot of countries.

Voting need not be in person. In more countries, electronic voting and other remote forms of voting will become the norm for elections.

The Global Value Chain will be re-imagined. How products are made and move from one end of the world to another will be re-designed. Aim will be to avoid relying on only one focal place for all of the world’s supplies. Companies will be focused on creating several points where global supply can be met from.

Do you have any other predictions about how you think the world will change after #Covid-19 ? I’d like to hear them at @adetolaov




Say “International law”, “Tech”, “Business” or “Intellectual Property”, and you have my attention. When I’m not traveling, I’m advising on “Trade & Investment”

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Say “International law”, “Tech”, “Business” or “Intellectual Property”, and you have my attention. When I’m not traveling, I’m advising on “Trade & Investment”

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