In these early days of lockdown, people around the world are coming to terms with a new reality.
The UK Government timeline for the length of the lockdown has shifted from weeks to months, 6 to be precise. Even this comes with the caveat that it may be longer because what happens next depends on a whole range of factors.
Looking around the world, the ‘worst’ case scenario for how long the shadow of Corona Virus will hang over the world varies. Getting back to ‘normal’, how the world was before Covid-19 (BC), is measured in years[i].
Very simply put, we can manage how many people get infected by using lockdowns. If a country can be cleaned of the virus, then the lock down can be extended to the borders as long as strong & strict controls are in place, as we are now seeing in China and South Korea[ii].
But getting back to a flow of people between countries will depend on ability to enforce borders. Exactly the opposite direction from the one the world has been going in. This is especially true in the European Union where porosity between states has been total and where porosity to external countries has been encouraged.
Getting back to what was a global normal relies on total vaccination and all sources seem to agree that it will take 12 to 18 months to develop and test a vaccine. Then it needs to be produced and everyone vaccinated. That’s 7.8 Billion people.
What we are left with in the meantime is a new normal that changes on a weekly, if not daily basis and, as a result, massive amounts of uncertainty as to what next week, next month or next year will look like.
The most probable outcome is that what you expected the future to look like in November 2019, has been moved. And where it now is, remains to be revealed.
This timescale, the moving of the expected future plus the uncertain timeline and outcomes, can be expected to deliver a huge level of psychological shock. In the article ‘The Corona Virus has given you ‘Future Shock’ I explained some of the dynamics and possible strategies for addressing it summarised as 4 steps:
How well you survive and thrive will depend not just on applying these steps, but on how fast you apply them, and how flexible you are at reapplying steps 1 & 2 as things change around you.
From Darwin, we know that the real winners will be those who adapt best to the changing environment. Now is the time to be smarter and faster.
Anthropological research shows that one of the most important aspects of Human Beings is their desire and willingness to co-operate in communities. This enables expert skill sets to be combined to develop solutions, to innovate. So it is important, perhaps essential, to reach out to each other.
But here is a thought. I know the future you were expecting has been moved. I know that is a shock. It is also an opportunity.
Perhaps with this huge ‘reset’ and by being forced to work together with a level of unprecedented co-operation, we can make a better future than the one we were expecting?
- James Bryant