What will and won't change after the coronavirus crisis?

These are the key aspects of our lives that are likely to change or remain the same in the post-virus world.

Doctor chief of the intensive care unit (ICU), Luiz Gustavo Marin poses for pictures at the Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital, where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, in Porto Alegre, Brazil (photo credit: REUTERS)
Doctor chief of the intensive care unit (ICU), Luiz Gustavo Marin poses for pictures at the Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital, where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, in Porto Alegre, Brazil
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After just several weeks of lockdown, life prior to the coronavirus outbreak already seems like a distant memory. Despite the first signs of returning to routine, complete normality still seems like a distant dream.
While many of us are already eager to be reunited with family members and return to the workplace, our favorite restaurants and sports activities, there are still unknowns regarding the world after coronavirus. With the help of industry experts, here are seven things that are likely to change or remain the same in the post-virus world.
The world of work
For those fortunate enough to still be earning a wage, getting used to working at home has been a challenge. For those with young children, it might even have been an ordeal. Zoom has become a household name in recent weeks.
What will happen after the outbreak subsides? For many already working remotely, they might hope for a new level of appreciation or greater job prospects. For employers, the outbreak might change their perceptions of working from home and change their method of recruitment.
"Current working conditions (remote work) will significantly change the way businesses think and act," Monday.com head of partnerships and alliances Oren Stern told The Jerusalem Post.
"Beyond the practical level, managers and employees understand that there is another possibility for how we work – and it is succeeding. Organizations have invested heavily in remote work capabilities. This investment will be something that organizations will want to preserve, whether it's the changes they have made in the corporate culture or changes made by improving and/or implementing technology platforms."
In addition, Stern said, hiring can be more flexible in terms of geography, with greater recruitment options as boundaries expand to increasingly remote locations.
Tourism

The tourism sector that has truly ground to a halt will take some time to recover. The outbreak has had a terrible economic impact on aviation, hospitality and all businesses associated with the domestic and international tourist experience.
"First and foremost, tourism is going to continue and recover – people are very globalized in their mentality and see international travel not as a rare privilege, but very much a regular habit that is part of their lives and identity," said Dr. Eran Ketter, a lecturer at Kinneret College's Department of Tourism and Hotel Management.
Cruise ships will also "bounce back," Ketter said, although young families may replace older travelers who are less resilient to health concerns that have arisen during the outbreak. Mirroring global aviation security regulations introduced after September 11, Ketter also expects the implementation of universal body scanning or temperature checks at airports.
"As we see the timespan of COVID-19 expand, we're going to see small-scale airlines collapsing, might see M&As among other airlines and might see some of the larger airlines reducing the size of their fleets," Ketter said. "Also, we are likely to see greater governmental involvement in the airline industry as most governments will want to support their national carriers, and definitely want something in return."
Climate change

The slowdown in industrial activity and car travel caused by the coronavirus outbreak has generated a welcome side effect: reduced pollution levels. Last week, NASA satellite data showed a 30% drop in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels over Northeastern US areas compared to March levels in previous years.
Unfortunately, the trend is unlikely to last and emission levels could even deteriorate. Speaking to the Post in late March, Dr. Orr Karassin warned of a possible "huge backlash" in emissions following the crisis.
Following the 2008 financial crash, global carbon emissions increased by 5% compared to pre-crisis levels. As governments sought to boost their economies, concessions were increasingly granted to industries previously being phased out, including coal and oil shale.
As governments reassess their fiscal policies after the crisis, a growing concern relates to whether governments will continue subsidies offered to renewable energy technologies.
Blue and white industry

For many, one key takeaway from the current outbreak and interruptions to international trade is the need for self-sufficient manufacturing. While imports are critical for reducing the cost of living, the importance of self-reliance becomes clear during times of crisis.
Israel Export Institute chairman Adiv Baruch recently told the Post that the government "needs to support local, Blue and White manufacturing" and ensure that the country is no longer reliant on other countries manufacturing and exporting vital supplies.
As market activity slowly returns, a shift toward buying from local stores and supporting local industry will likely require a large scale public campaign. Support on a governmental level for struggling manufacturers will likely be a key aspect of industry lobbying in the months and years to come.
The healthcare system
In the midst of the battle against coronavirus, a stinging State Comptroller report warned of severe gaps in Israel's readiness to combat an influenza pandemic, which could infect some 2.25 million citizens.
While Israel and its underfunded health system seem to have avoided the authorities' worst fears during the current outbreak, the experiences of other countries will have served as a stern warning. Significant funding will be required to close the gaps once the country has a functioning government and permanent budget.
"Insufficient resources" have been directed toward the development of vaccinations so far, Biondvax Pharmaceuticals founder and chief executive Dr. Ron Babecoff told the Post in a recent interview. Governments and big pharma are now certainly aware that funding proactive vaccination strategies are key to saving lives.
The way the world communicates

The shift from the physical world to the digital world requires a major upgrade and acceleration of our digital infrastructure. Online education, soaring levels of on-demand streaming and virtual conferencing are all here to stay in one way or another, and at a much larger scale.
"The world now understands that we can do a lot of things digitally that we used to do in person... We’ll see a faster, re-focused transformation journey to match the extreme digitalization that’s happening now," said Amalia Avramov, group president at Amdocs Global SmartOps & Optima.
"Cloud and automation will be critical to keep pace and quickly launch new offerings for consumers. I believe we’ll also see more significant investments in 5G  as consumers look for out-of-the-home networks that can provide the virtual experiences they will now expect."
According to Avramov, there will also be greater focus on how technology can be used beyond connectivity. For example, IBM is using supercomputing power for faster COVID-19 research, and Google and Apple have partnered on contact tracing.
"The world will change in many ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that ultimately the communications industry will emerge as incredibly able to adapt and become more critical than ever to our communities and to society at large," she said.
New heroes

One thing is almost certain once this crisis comes to an end: There will be a newfound appreciation for all healthcare workers. The faces of doctors and nurses, and even hospital cleaning staff, have replaced the celebrities that usually appear on our television screens.
The turnaround was exemplified on Saturday when 50 of world soccer's greatest stars - from Pelé to David Beckham - published a video applauding "humanity's heroes." Worldwide, citizens have taken to their balconies and doorsteps to applaud the work of health workers.
Whether they replace the Instagram stars and top sportsmen and women in the long term is doubtful, but the coronavirus battle will certainly have inspired a generation of children who will lead scientific breakthroughs and take care of us for decades to come.


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