Life after COVID-19: #NewNormal

Christopher Star
6 min readApr 14, 2020

The start of the year 2020 is the beginning of a new order; a new normal.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The world is in panic over a pandemic.

The coronavirus disease is leaving behind permanent changes on how we live our daily lives and posing new challenges on how we do business but the economic impact is yet to fully unfold.

As the world continues to observe social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus and as countries continue to be on lockdown, the inevitable is for the global economy to go on a downturn.

Change

The biggest shifts will be towards connections, institutions and traditions.

We won’t be comfortable around strangers; it’s better safe than sorry. We are about to shy away from schools, airports, malls, hotels, train stations, churches, restaurants, concerts and anywhere full of people.

We won’t be paying bills, debts and rents anytime soon; not without any source of income. We are about to rethink of the rules imposed to us by society and the government will take the lead on shaking up our institutions.

We won’t be shaking hands at business meetings nor we blowing candles to celebrate birthdays; too risky of passing the virus. We are about to start new traditions.

The pandemic also forces all of us, including the government, to go digital. The role of the internet becomes vital to our very survival. However, the once great equalizer will now be the cause of a greater divide. Soon, there will be a new meaning to “social distancing” as the gap between the social classes widens even further since constant access to the internet continues to be a privilege afforded by a few.

As the world holds its breath on how this will all end, the environment takes a breather from the pollution brought by modernization. We’re back to zero.

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Opportunities

Zero is a good starting point.

There will be a new economic model to be called “homeconomy” where commerce revolves around activities in our homes. The world will never be same again and after the lockdown, we’ll see new opportunities up for grabs. The stock market will be bloody red and a lot of smaller businesses will bleed to death but at the same time, we’ll see the birth of businesses and new ideas.

Retail. E-commerce will play an important role in enabling us to get essentials while staying at home. We will start to buy groceries and medicines online and we will try subscription shopping of basic necessities for convenience. Other industries such as fashion and apparel will get a hard hit and won’t see an uptake of their e-commerce sales especially for luxury brands. Logistics will need to double up hiring to meet the growing demand from groceries, restaurants, pharmacies and cloud kitchens to delivery direct to consumers. Some of those who lost their jobs will join the gig economy as delivery riders.

Entertainment. We will consume more content and play more video games as we quarantine and chill. Livestream is now mainstream; concerts, worships, sports and more will now be streaming online. A new breed of online celebrities will rise including gamers and entertainers. We won’t see social distancing on social media.

Mobility. Our dependence to public transport including ride-sharing apps will be replaced by personal mobility devices that enable us to move freely. Car ownership might increase especially with gas prices reaching record low while other will opt for electric scooters or good old bicycles. Staying home will be our top priority but nonetheless, we will be ready to move places when needed.

Health. For the past few decades, saving the environment was everyone’s concern and it will continue to be so. However, mind & body wellness will take centerstage as consumers become hyper health conscious. Some will begin exercising and meditating while others will start eating plant-based diet to avoid virus-prone animal meat. Soon, you’ll feel naked without a mask on your face or you’ll feel vulnerable without an alcohol to wash your hands.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Virtual

This novel coronavirus pandemic is the defining moment for this generation. COVID-19 is their equivalent of 9/11. Virtual is the new normal.

For a lot of companies, working remotely is now a reality. Consequently, there’s a usage surge of online tools for collaborating, timekeeping and teleconferencing. Case in point, zoom is booming.

Meet the Zoomers. The pureblood digital natives glued to their phones and the first inhabitants of TikTok will fully embrace virtual. The zoomers will go to an e-school, watch livestreaming concerts, party over zoom calls, order food online, use mobile wallets and attend a virtual graduation ceremony.

In contrast, the Baby Zoomers will try to catch up with technology as the need to go digital is vital for their survival. They need it to communicate with their friends, family, colleagues and even their doctors. The rise of telemedicine is brought by the need to avoid physical contact with strangers especially for older people with weak immune system.

Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

Isolation

We will continue to isolate ourselves even as the dusts of the pandemic clear off. Our need for intimacy despite isolation will trigger innovation.

Couchella. Our screen time is through the roof as we keep ourselves entertained from the comfort of our homes. We will watch our favorite artists, celebrate important occasions, connect with our loved ones and tune in the news right from our couches.

Meal Kits. The food delivery industry is expected to grow rapidly as compared to the dine-in restaurant business which is expected to slowly die due to the rekindling of our love for cooking. There’s a huge opportunity for meal kits to pick up as a bunch of people learn to cook for the first time.

Baby Boom. We shall also rekindle our love for our families and friends. We will build new bonds as we stay at home. For couples, this also means a lot of love making moments and 9 months down the road, we expect new babies to be born and hopefully not to be named Covid Bryant.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Domestic

The shut-in economy of everything on-demand for the royally isolated and pampered privileged few requires a steady supply source which is partially paralyzed by the lockdown.

Thanks to globalization, countries around the globe are interdependent to each other and years of blood, sweat and tears have been invested for those trade relationships but the world supply chain has been greatly disrupted. Two of the main concerns are food security for the exporting countries and health safety for the importing countries. Strengthening domestic supply chain is very critical once the economy resumes after the lockdown.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Remember C.O.V.I.D.

Be cautious of all the changes that are coming our way but with it comes a lot of opportunities. The shift towards virtual is worth noting because the need to isolate will continue after the lockdown is over but the domestic supply chain needs to support the demand to sustain the economy.

The world is watching. Let’s stay vigilant!

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Christopher Star

Brand Builder, Startup Launcher & Community Connector. #HackYourGrowth