Who would have believed that Covid, a biological virus could have wreaked such an international havoc. If someone had proposed a bet to me to say that this was possible, I would have lost miserable. I couldn’t have fathomed that a pandemic could have halted the progress we’ve made so far. Progress as it relates to education, employment and the economy.
Covid vs Education
There are some students who haven’t seen the inside of a classroom for over 2 years because the outbreak has caused a lockdown of many schools worldwide. Some educational institutions have been trying their utmost best to facilitate online learning in order to keep up with the general progression of school. Has it been effective? That is often based on perspective. For some parents, it means that their kids are safe at home, they don’t need to struggle to commute through heavy traffic and they can monitor exactly what their kids are learning in the classrooms. On the other hand, it means that they need to disrupt their work to teach their kids, it means spending more money on electricity and/or electronics to facilitate online classes. It also means that their kids miss out on important social interaction and development.
This sudden shift to home schooling on such a global scale is bound to have long term effects. “Adversity breeds innovation”, they say, so maybe more students will adjust in a way where they learn to add value to their natural talent and find a more creative mean to earn a living. The internet and social media has provided a medium of endless possibilities. Well, with how much it cost to live these days, these children might as well get a head start by learning how to earn instead of learning how to take a test. There are so many child-stars in Hollywood who have earned a live-able wage long before they become adults. Maybe that’s the concept we need need to normalize instead of stressing the students with useless theories..
Covid vs Employment
So many persons have left their jobs during the pandemic. Whether by choice or not, the statistics have shown that a lot of people were unemployed at some point between 2020 and 2022. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, there was a record of 21 million civilian unemployment from the 4th quarter of 2019 to the 2nd quarter of 2020. With the introduction of shorter business hours, pay cuts and business closures a lot of persons were finding themselves unemployed. Others weren’t even seeing the benefits of being employed in the same company anymore. Dubbed “the Great Resignation”, many companies saw a bulk of their employees choosing to leave even while they were making cuts within the workforce. So many businesses were left “short-staffed” to pick up the pieces. Not to mention, other employees were getting sick from Covid.
Remote employment had already existed for Freelancers and Independent contractors but now some full-time workers were officially introduced to the work-from-home lifestyle. With an increase in Zoom meetings and a decrease in the daily commute though traffic, this was a welcoming change for some. Others got annoyed with spending so much time with their spouses and/or children and insisted on face-to-face work as an escape mechanism. Personally, I support the hybrid system where employees work in office for a few days, and work from home for the other days.
Covid vs the Economy
During the pandemic , there has been a significant increase in online shopping. Amazon has been listed as the ‘leading online market place based on the number of monthly visits and purchases, according to statista.com. It states that over two billion people purchased goods or services online in 2020 which accounted for e-retail sales of over 4.2 trillion US dollars worldwide. On the flip side, numerous traditional “brick and mortar” businesses are closing down. Stores like Ann Taylor, Chuck E Cheese, JC Penny have all filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and have sold ownership of their brand. (Source: feeds.aarp.org).
As it relates to production, there has been a disruption in the supply chain distribution process which has created a shortage in the availability of certain products on the market. In some countries like Jamaica, for example, there has been a shortage of some appliances like dishwashers for a while. There has even been predictions that there will be a shortage of car parts and certain electronics for months to come. To adjust for the shortcomings that some businesses have faced, the prices of almost everything have been raised. The price of food, cars, appliances and even homes have significantly increased. Inflation is in full effect, thus, the cost of living is literally skyrocketing as the days go by.
Somehow the global health crisis has highlighted the flaws within our society. We’re at the point where governments are being forced to choose between public health and the economy. We’re currently over two years in this pandemic with a virus that keeps mutating regardless of the protocols in place or the mitigation strategies being implemented. Covid 19 has forced a lot of people to really evaluate their lives and determine what is important in comparison to our obligations. We need to stay safe and stay healthy but we also need money to survive… well “the show must go on”.