As humankind stands testimony, the Covid-19 pandemic will alter the socioeconomic fabric. The effects are discernible as we reorient our relationship with governments, to the outside world, and even with each other.
The stark reality is there is no accurate premonition of exactly what will come of the unknown dynamics that community, government, health care, the economy, our lifestyles and more will have. Like catastrophes such as 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis that mutated global society from the past, this will also forge new challenges against a backdrop of uncertainty, which makes this calamity even more bewildering to tackle.
The marketplace will witness more sophisticated — and flexible — technological advancements. There will be a drift away from “Is there a reason to do this online?” to “Is there any good reason to do this in person?”.
We are now plunged into telecommuting as “tech-savvy” professionals with the emergence of a work-from-home culture. Students will have more online learning to do, and corporates will expand through effective supply chain systems to safeguard themselves.
Banks will transform, at a much faster pace, their infrastructure to operate on blockchain technology. The new digitalised coded options will provide enhanced security, cost-effectiveness and efficiency for corporate payments, while intra-bank cross-border remittances will expand rapidly.
The health care industry will unleash new family health care programmes to provide a safety net for child- and elder care and support for people with disabilities. Telemedicine will now contribute more significantly in cost-control, becoming a high-convenience system for the health care industry.
Safety nets everywhere
New fiscal and monetary measures will be embraced to salvage companies from bankruptcy so that they can recoup once the pandemic is over. There will be various forms of tax relief and public guarantees to support firms’ borrowing. Public finances will be under pressure and budget deficits will increase for all governments.
A timely roll-out of fiscal and economic stimulus will underpin the core pillars of any economy. Adequate measures will be adopted to ensure unemployment rates remain low. There will be surge in demand for innovative unemployment-linked insurance covers.
Government efforts will increase to shore up aggregate demand, which will come with its own challenges. This may lead to a future inflation, and potentially leading to stagflation (weak or falling GDP growth alongside rising prices).
It is a wake-up call to mankind to be responsible. No event in recent history has affected us as profoundly and pervasively and continue to influence on how we think, how we relate to others, and what we value from now on.
— Abdul Moiz Khan is co — founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Fursa Consulting.