THE NEW NORMAL

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed how we live, work and learn. 
In the face of realities of the current global crisis, we will need to continue to join forces and work creatively. Together, we will improvise, adapt and overcome.

One can barely read or tune into the news without encountering a reference to “the new normal.” I think the phrase started getting overused even before society fully accepted that the COVID-19 mess was going to be a real thing.

The most significant advances in technology are the ones that we use. As people adapt to new ways of socializing, working and learning, we are seeing mass adoption of innovations that will create lasting, positive changes in our world:

Simple and effective tools already exist to connect via video. These tools have been around for some time, yet with limited adoption. Now, social distancing has jump-started the use of these tools to interact. This also means that medical professionals can see more patients at a lower cost, while reserving in-person visits for the most critical cases where they can provide even more personal attention.

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Image by: REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

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Technology to conduct virtual meetings and facilitate remote working has been around for years. And most of us have hated it. The reasons are numerous, and many are valid. It hasn’t been until we were forced to find ways to conduct business remotely that we really embraced these tools and opened ourselves to making things like virtual meetings work.

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Image by: lifesize.com

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Distance learning is another example of necessity driving adoption. Education must continue, yet schools are closed. This has driven entire communities to shift overnight from classroom to virtual classes. 

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Image by : The Conversation
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COVID-19 has been universal, it is global. It was looked at as a challenge by many and for some, it looked like a great opportunity to correct some mistakes that had happened. For environmentalists, this was a change that they could not have seen with even a million campaigns. Pollution disappeared for a while. Air was fresh like never before. 

In the battle between the value of human life and the global economy, the value of human life won. Countries announced complete lockdown only enabling essential services to continue with their supply chain. Medical professionals experienced never before emergencies and rush seeking their attention. For any human being living now, this is an unprecedented experience. 

Inclusion is a lesson we could learn from COVID-19. It did not see any difference in people, it treated everyone fair and square. It also drove collaboration between people, teams, and countries.

When the pandemic is over, will we stop visiting doctors, stop going to offices, stop traveling to clients, and stop attending live classes? Of course not. Major events like a pandemic are transformative because they can create an experience “extinction effect.” It generates new opportunities and inspires us to change how we live. People and companies that embrace these opportunities will drive lasting positive change.