7. The biggest job transition in all history.
Business interruptions are extremely messy, and layoffs are mounting. Some will view this as a great time to switch careers, while others will think about starting their own business. In general, companies launched during a downturn tend to be far more durable and resilient than those started in better economies. I think it’s safe to say that this round of job losses followed by reemployment trends will be far different than anything in the past.
8. Handicapped by the hiring process.
With HR departments mushrooming in size and countless new hiring laws taking effect over the past decade, most businesses are gun-shy about streamlining the process. This will be an ongoing impediment during a time of recovery.
9. Our increasing awareness of the world means we may have to play by someone else’s rules.
Once China got their teams focused on dealing with the coronavirus, they formulated a game-plan that would be replayed in every other country around the world. If the virus had started in Japan, Brazil, or India, we might be taking a radically different approach.
10. The coming reinvention of healthcare.
Just as the bubonic plague ushered in an era of labor reforms and improvements in medicine in the Middle Ages, the coronavirus will force a number of major improvements in healthcare. Since it’s still too early to accurately predict how post-coronavirus healthcare will differ from pre-coronavirus healthcare, this is an area I’m monitoring closely.
11. The entire airline industry is about to be reborn as something new.
For most companies moving forward, travel expenses will be dramatically lower. Once businesses realize they can survive with a lot fewer face-to-face interactions, any proposed travel expenses will receive far more scrutiny. Keep in mind, the original sales pitch for video conferencing was based on dramatic travel savings.
12. Education is about to undergo radical changes.
We are now seeing the digital classroom being implemented on a global scale. Every teacher that has resisted this approach in the past is being told to get over it because there are no other options. Remote and digital education is certainly not new. Programs like Khan Academy have been around for more than a decade. How long before we are constantly switching between digital and physical classrooms? As Peter Diamandis likes to say, this will be the perfect time to digitize, dematerialize, demonetize and democratize education.
13. Transformation of retail.
Large stores like Walmart, Target, and Costco have become panic zone central as shelves are wiped clean by people going into survival mode. On the other side of the equation, are stores that are either ghost towns or closed completely. Moving forward, traditional retail storefronts will be even more challenged in competing with their online counterparts.
14. Delivery business’s opportunity to shine.
Within just the past few weeks, virtually everyone in the country has had to learn how to use some new delivery app. Companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Uber Eats are getting swamped with orders. Delivery people are in huge demand, and the entire delivery industry is one of the few bright spots in the freelance and employment world.
15. Rethinking storytelling on a global scale.
From here on out, all of Hollywood’s movie and television scripts will be separated into pre-corona and post-corona era material. Handshakes, hugs, and personal meetings are out. Washing hands, wearing masks, and buying toilet paper are in. And our lexicon is changing to include phrases like “flattening the cure,” “social distancing,” “self-quarantining,” and “shelter in place.”
16. Coming age of flexibility, adaptability, and resilience.
As we dip into survival mode, we will all need to hone our skills in the area of flexibility, adaptability, and resilience. No, they’re not easy to teach nor easy to learn! Future employers will prioritize them as some of the key skill sets their hiring for.
17. The coming baby boom.
Brace yourself for an explosion of Christmas and New Years babies. Many of us have wondered what we will call those who follow Gen-Z, and now it is clear that they’ll be called the Corona Generation.
18. Cocoon of isolation and the loneliness epidemic.
Virtual friends are not a substitute for human contact. While the implementation of social distancing is crucial to preventing the coronavirus pandemic from spreading, the practice is also causing a “social recession,” a collapse in social contact that especially affects populations who are most susceptible to loneliness and isolation. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to loneliness at a time where the CDC is basically placing seniors in solitary confinement. Even a week in solitary will cause muscles to atrophy and many to lose their health and mobility.
19. The unintended consequences of COVID-19 will be epic.
When dystopian thinking and transformational thinking collide, great things can happen.
We are about to enter the most innovative period in all history. When people have time to think and reflect, they also have time to innovate. Millions of new businesses will be created, millions of new products launched, millions of new services transformed.
But for those who cannot adapt to the new realities of life, the COVID-19 downside will manifest itself in many stress-related ways including a ramp up in things like domestic violence, child abuse, suicides, drugs, alcohol, and spousal abuse. We may also see protests, riots, and fighting, but it doesn’t have to be that way.