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Pros of Covid-19 lockdowns: A new normal

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With the world hitting the first-year mark of global pandemic, we have seen Covid-19 to be deadly and devastating, but with a silver lining. As the pandemic spread like wildfire and affected people, societies and global norms the instinct of survival and adaptability kicked in.
Covid-19 forced human-kind to adapt to the life of social isolation and to adopt a new way of life which the world was reluctant to accept. The most immediate impact of the lockdown when it was first imposed was that all activities – businesses, services and social gatherings went online.
As a consequence of closure of industries, businesses shifting to “work from home” policy, reduced transportation and aviation activities and fall in demand for energy, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have significantly dropped. This helped restore the ecosystem and contain climate changes to a certain extent. Studies have also revealed a fall in water and noise pollution. Nature at tourist attractions is also getting time to recover the impacts of human intervention. Dolphins are returning to the coasts of the Bay of Bengal and the waters of Venice, while the colour of the sea water on Malaysian beaches has changed and become clearer. This proved that restoring the environment is possible if a global effort is made and human intervention is contained.
The “work from home” strategy of organisations opened avenues for a major segment of immobile labour-force. It has proved to be a step ahead in globalization as job opportunities opened up to everyone online. This has also created easy accessibility of services online. While this was possible in pre-covid-19 era, it was not generally acceptable to avail services online. As soon as the lockdown was enforced and social distancing became inevitable the instinct to lead a normal life brought acceptability for online services globally. People started enjoying live yoga sessions online while students could study from the comfort of their homes. All businesses and banks improved their web services. The elderly who were reluctant to adapt to the new methods of banking were forced to adopt them. More delivery services mushroomed as people started ordering the groceries and other products online too.
While the pandemic forced people into social distancing and isolation, it helped lock families together, giving them more time to interact with each other. There has been a significant increase in philanthropic activities from around the globe, helping those in need. The pandemic has opened doors for people to get creative at home, discover their hobbies, indulge in physical activities and focus on their health. Online communication and connectivity also experienced a boom. The Zoom app became a popular place for business meetings, university lectures,and social gatherings. Zoom’s daily users rose to 200 million in March 2020, from 10 million in December2019 leading to record profits.
As a result of the pandemic the governments all over the world actively took measures to manage the virus. Provisions of health facilities were not only improved but also made available to the rural and urban populations.
All in all the pandemic has been a painful struggle to achieve a new normal that is a more secluded yet connected.