As the (Coronavirus) pandemic is still around and fluctuating up and down as is hesitant to leave the world or stay even longer! In 2020 people stopped driving, flying, commuting and socialising for some months. As well, they stopped buying fuel and other necessities which were needed to do all these things. In fact, at such a hard time, people underwent psychological shock which drove some of them crazy for being in an unbearably abnormal lifestyle.
The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year of Covid-19. The year of social distancing, lockdowns and staying at home even when the sun was shining, flowers were blossoming and birds were singing. Lucky were the people who took that time of self-isolation as a blessing, time for spiritual retreat and a time for reflection. Less fortunate were the ones who were affected by the lockdowns, travel ban and economic slump in a way or the other.
As the year 2021 has already set in, it is somehow revealing a new normal post the pandemic. Welcome 2021, which is in a way is likely to be the year when the world is undergoing a transition to the next normal. As the vaccines have been distributed to different parts of the world including the Sultanate, this brings hope that life is recovering with almost all business activities have been opened up. However, does that mean life has fully returned to normal and the pandemic is over?
In a point of fact, Coronavirus has brought several changes globally, some of which might disappear, but some will remain when the crisis is over. With all the changes experienced, people might take forward some of these changes, which they got used to! Going forward, people will adapt themselves to the would-be new normal in their lives. According to a study, organisational implications of Covid-19 pandemic, conducted by a number of researchers, the term “new normal” first appeared during the 2008 financial crisis.
This term was referring to the dramatic economic, cultural and social transformations that caused instability and social disorder, affecting collective perceptions and individual’s lifestyle. However, it has been used again during the Covid-19 to point out how the pandemic has completely transformed different spheres of human life, including professional identity, economic survival, work and family, education’s management and social life.
Thus, the new normal reflects the new format of lifestyle post-Coronavirus as well as people’s attitude, new regulations, technology advancements and other aspects that nations and individuals will have or need to implement. For instance, the protection practices that people have learned and followed since a year ago can continue for sometime until it is fully safe to quit them. Though, such healthy practises convey a good lesson on the importance of personal hygiene, cleanliness and safety.
On the other hand, the pandemic served as a wakeup call for many countries to revisit their old-fashioned systems and procedures and get into more advanced technological approaches. Employment wise, many corporates have been forced to revise their organisational structures and budgets. This was an opportunity to work with a minimum capacity of resources and workforce, stop redundancy and save budgets unlike before. Local talents, for instance, had the opportunity to outshine, showcasing their expertise and talents to support the government and society in different fields.
The year-long hard experience presented insightful lessons to humanity. Countries will start navigating new ways to restore health systems, economies and unite societies together. Likewise, they are urged to work on long-term plans that allow them have more resilient communities and a common vision to become healthier and safer. Although, the world is halfway through to bring life to normalcy and the battle might be over sooner or later, Covid-19 related downturn will leave long-lasting scars. Welcome to the new normal ahead!
Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami