Before Covid – After Covid
A loose framework designed to provoke thoughts and arguments by Simon French, a Comvort collaborator writer.
As the internet exploded, I remember laughing at two terms:
Pre Internet was “BG” – Before Gates and once it was booming, “AG” – After Gates.
This got me thinking, will there be a “BC” – Before Covid and a wait for it: “AC” After Covid.
I, like many others have been speculating about what the world will eventually evolve to once we rid the planet off this virus.
We all hope for a better world, a more caring world, a less politically driven world, a collaborative world. Is this going to materialise?
The spirit might be willing but some governments might not.
The truth is we don’t know…..no-one knows! Not yet.
So with that in mind, the following are merely observations. A loose framework designed to provoke thoughts and argument.
On a doomsday scenario on “The end of innovation” Michael Crichton wrote:
“…. This idea that the world is wired together is mass death…
Now, for our own species evolution occurs mostly through our own behavior.
We innovate new behavior to adapt. And everybody on Earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people and it gets harder. Thirty people and nothing happens. Anymore and it becomes impossible. That’s the effect of mass media – it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there’s a McDonalds on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street.
Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. .. People worry about losing species diversity in the rainforest but what about intellectual diversity – our most necessary resource? That’s disappearing faster than trees. But we haven’t figured that out, so now we are planning to put 5 billion people together in cyberspace. And it will freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same at the same time. Global uniformity ……………………. It will be fast too.”
If we read that in the context of this global pandemic it is quite chilling. Especially the first line.
For the rest, he is both right and wrong. Everything is connected; the world is connected more than we think. As a race sometimes we lack basic common sense, we are totally ignorant, unaware of cause and effect.
On a more positive view, what we have seen is innovation and collaboration at its best, out of necessity. Car maker Seat making ventilators, fragrance companies making hand sanitisers, the Indian government turning trains into hospital units and so on… We CAN do things for the greater good, we just have to be motivated and creative enough NOT to do it just in times of crisis.
We have also seen pollution levels dropping, dolphins in the canals of Venice, animals making reappearances in cities. The planet is on loan to human race. Nature is resilient and will take back the planet when we have gone.
Our children adapted to working from home probably better than we did.
Companies moved out of their usual industry.
We have also seen that governments look inwards in times of crisis, at worst they can become too protectionist and xenophobic.
Even economic zones, who should work together, become worthless.
So what will happen when we return to something amounting to ‘normal’?
Will we keep our cities pollution free?
Will we travel less?
Will we consume less ‘stuff’?
Will we care more about foreign workers that build our gleaming malls?
Answer…Sadly, probably not!
“We are not an endangered species ourselves yet, but this is not for lack of trying.” Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See.
So far we can look to China to see how people are returning to their “BC” (Before Covid) lives. Desperate consumerism. There is even a term for it, “Revenge Spending”. This is not sustainable.
I am thinking on some bold predictions…
Stay tuned to follow Simon’s writings.