How the world has changed due to COVID-19

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“During a crisis, change is driven by pain and the austerity that stems from it”

The global pandemic of COVID-19 is creating havoc amongst the worldwide population and has led to enormous changes in the lives of people. With millions of people affected, an enormous disturbance has erupted amidst the existence and survival of mankind. As important it is to accommodate the changes this pandemic brings with itself, it is even more crucial to recognize the silver lining amidst the dark clouds of crisis.

Until today, it is not discernible that this pandemic is not the only hassle that India has faced as a country. To take a step back and reorient our focus towards the adversities that have occurred in the early 1990s, for example, the Mandal agitation, the Bombay riots, and the Latur earthquake, it was evident that the country was in dire need of a better socio-economic model along with a scope of developing more efficient ways of dealing with emergencies. These adversities were responsible for culminating an existential crisis for the major metropolitan cities and left the citizens in absolute shock. The very roots of our education policy that implies new opportunities and avenues for students were shaken to the core and the standards and timelines seemed obscure to most of the youth. The struggle, whether it rose from man-made reasons or natural calamities, insinuated that the country does not have viable economic and administrative units.

The only difference between these past disturbances and the current pandemic situation is the magnitude of people it is affecting regularly. This has led to the genesis of confusion and disparate opinions about the impact it will have in the future. It is indeed important to think about the future, as well as to look for options to facilitate the same. It is important to think about how the social enterprises joined hands for relief work when the plight of the pandemic started worsening. There were investors, both individuals, and clusters of them, who were benevolent towards these causes, along with the staff that volunteers on the basic level, who selflessly worked for people without agonizing about consequences. The preliminary thought about requiring a future fuelled several groups of people to create platforms that are capable of reimagining job roles and livelihoods.

Decoding Reverse Migration:

The subject of reverse migration raises different questions about the decentralization of economic zones and the viability of economic units as per the existing metric system. There are approximately 100 prevailing economic units, which consist of about 35–40 cities and numerous special economic zones (SEZs), and reverse migration has unsettled this baseline, which leads us to re-evaluate the feasibility of channelizing these zones into villages while keeping the social, economic and environmental paradigms intact. However, on a more realistic stance, it is easier to re-center these zones into towns that house a moderate population. In this way, there is an expectation of fulfilling the goals of reimagining livelihoods in an economic model that is re-designed accordingly. The current model of the economy relies on a physical space that ultimately governs the social transformation, and thereby facilitates the migration of people in search of a means to earn their daily bread.

“Life is simple if we can decode it in a manner that is implementable”

In this context, it makes us form an idea about the fundamental requirements for the paradigm shift in developing these areas. The hierarchical breakdown of resources may assist in the establishment of economic expansion, for example, the obvious requirement of essentials such as water, food, electricity, healthcare, education systems, and a skilled workforce. The re-assessment of these amenities leads us to find the glimmer of hope amidst the pain of reverse migration. Every commodity listed above is now being viewed in a different light along with deciphering the fundamental components that make the availability seem simple.

“A lot of people have been realizing that these changes are a must, it is no longer something that we can come back to later, and therefore, there is a need to decode this situation.”

Establishing the New Normal:

With scabs forming over previous wounds of adversities, the youth of today along with the development sector needs to reconsider the options of adopting new solutions for the community. We can define how the work of an individual is a clear definition of oneself, and that the solutions should stem from the job opportunities that can be created for people.

“Based on pay-scales and skillsets, the lower the society values the skillset, the higher the impact of the lockdown on people.”

Consequently, it is the responsibility of social enterprises to minimize the impact of the lockdown or any other crisis that the new normal brings with itself. A migrant, in a broader sense, has now lost the mobility which was essentially driving the growth of the economy. With the relinquishment of this driving force, the incentive must be steered towards more forthcoming avenues, such as the healthcare infrastructure since most of the uncertainty revolves around this criterion.

“This pandemic has taught us to introspect and to believe in the power of change, and also the fact that bringing about that change is our responsibility to those who suffered, to develop more inclusive job profiles.”

The amalgamation of business and charity can aid people to reiterate their way of living, where they can earn as well as receive help, whilst keeping their self-respect intact. With the current scenario in perspective, it cannot be inferred that the migration of people to cities will stop completely, but it does depict a certain amount of restrictions and apprehensions amongst themselves. This should suggest that new opportunities should be carved for people such as they do not lose their skillset, as well as uphold their economic integrity. Undeniably, life happens, but it is eventually about how we realign ourselves to the alterations these events bring with them.

Major organizations have directed their focus towards redefining jobs to workers and providing “cloud social security”, which can lead to the formulation of a more inclusive health insurance or savings plan. Multiple models and collaboration can assist in the development of the same. Unconventional education models, which can often be viewed as divisive in its manner, make the impression of continuous learning only accessible through technology for most people, and this very outlook needs urgent modification. The only hope that we can ascertain is the ability to change in all these standardized models and the faith in redesigning the next decade.

Key impressions:

  1. Breakdown of the concept of re-establishing developmental models.
  2. Adapting to the new standards of safety and living.
  3. Creating a secure environment for developing economic zones.

Written by: Shreya Roy

Metta Social solutions Pvt Ltd

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How the world has changed due to COVID-19 was originally published in Metta Social on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.