I am writing this article at the end of March 2020 in the Czech Republic, so your current experience may be different and so will be mine in a couple of weeks and months. Currently, we have a mild lock-down.
People shall stay home, can go for work, to visit family, go grocery shopping, walk a dog or relax in the nature. People should not meet in groups of more than 2 people.
I was collecting some notes in the past 2 weeks on the vision what will change after the Coronavirus madness. Let’s see in some time how accurate or crazy my estimations were…
1. Fear of animal diseases
The chinese live animal markets are a very big global risk. It will be interesting to see how will the international groups of states press China to forbid or control those. Can chinese people change their habits in order to prevent similar diseases in the future? Nevertheless, I expect travelers to mainly avoid those places in the future.
2. Social bonding acknowledgement
People learn to rely on one another. In our society, we lost it after the fall of the iron curtain (communism collapsed in 1989 in CZ). We can see that people support medical and safety workers mentally and materially as well. People sew masks at home, give them out for free or try to help in many various ways. We can be proud of our humanity and it is great to be reminded. There will be heroic stories how people sewed face masks over nights in the first weeks when our government failed to secure medical masks for its inhabitants. Good job!
The post is shipping the face masks for free if they are shipped in transparent bag. Many people sew at home, from whatever they find, there are people standing in lines to get a piece of lining to sew from! People use also different scarfs and tunnels as protection, they are far away from PFF3 level of protection, but better than nothing. There are various designs of masks, which are funny or stylish, it seems there is a new market now.
3. Values re-shuffle
People have time to stop. The classical excuse: “Sorry, I don’t have time.” does not apply here. One can watch tons of episodes on Netflix but runs into his/her own thoughts sooner or later. Appreciates what has around – family, home, food, health… Perhaps, and I wanna be an optimist here, people will move a little from the superficial values.
So, sit down, write My values, add a date and try to list as many values you think are worth having. Then put them in order and try not to have anything on the same level. Surprised? Come back to your list in a year and ask yourself if you followed.
4. Meat consumption reduction
The shops are currently well stocked, there really is no shortage of any major supply (besides the freedom and ability to perform our hobbies). Before the end of the quarantine, I expect some shortage will come. I would say it will be mainly fresh fruits, vegetable and meat. The society inclines to vegetarianism for some time so I expect even bigger trend to appear after people get used to cooking without meat and substitute meat with alternatives. I need to say here that I am not a vegetarian but I am trying to reduce amount of meat I eat.
5. Fruits and vegetables appreciation
Similar to the meat, a lack of fruits and vegetable will create a change. This is more radical than a lack of meat. People take our choice of various kind of fruits as granted any time a year. I expect that the offer comes back to normal but the view will shift. To really appreciate that we can choose. A question will come to some minds, shall we really eat any fruit and vegetable al year round? There is a time for different kinds based on the year season, perhaps it is time to learn it once again.
6. Self-dependency interest
A growth in the field of self-dependency is coming. People will aim to grow some vegetable and fruits, not only herbs or weed. All of it may be important, kind of comeback to nature and to one’s capability to take care will increase. The dependency on the shops is scary and will persuade a lot of people to start a new hobby. Shops ad e-shops with gardening supply will be glooming.
7. Will woman have a little more natural look?
No hairdressers, no nail salons, no botox… Can we see an increase of natural woman beauty without superficial improvements? Maybe just a little, this will hardly change.
8. State’s role discussion
After the worst is over, there will be very strong voices asking for explanations of political steps done today and in the first days. All the failueres have to be explained and heads will fall. Also, how much should state support economy and people will be discussed and will be one the the leading topics for the next elections. Safety and economical support in times of need. There will be some changes here.
9. Working contracts reconsideration
Is is very common in CZ that you work as external supplier, therefore you lack a contract with the company. YOu have order-invoice based business, with some advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage here is obviously the security of income. I would assume that far less people will be willing to accept this setup after the crisis; far more companies will offer this possibility as it benefits them.
10. Bigger gap between hyenas and samaritans
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” We can see who are the unscrupulous people now; how they treat their employees or even friends or family. Who tries to discharge the employees immediately and cut them off all the security and bypass or disobey the law.
You can also see quite a lot of people taking advantage of the fear, selling over-priced products, etc. Watch and remember, some businesses will pay for this behavior after it’s all over and people will remember it.
11. Focus on personal savings
A lot of people around does not have any savings, they lived to the fullest every day, every month (paycheck in CZ is once a month). They would spend all the money in the first days after the paycheck, living the life they cannot afford (especially with high rent prices – crazy in CZ nowadays). This slap in the face will teach a lot of people to put something little aside. Not everyone will take a lesson learned but for those who are interested I recommend a book The Richest Man in Babylon.
12. Local services and products preference
After the curve (number of infected over time) flattens, there will still be some restrictions, i.g. the borders will most likely remain closed for some time. But even after they open, people shall support their local economy – local farmers, local product makers, local service providers. There will be an increase of domestic holidays, support of farmers markets, special markets, design markets etc.
13. National self-sufficiency
People start asking about import/export ratio. Where do we stand? Can a state provide for its inhabitants. Again, this will probably be one of new election topics. What do we grow in order to feed our own people?