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COMMENTARY: The age of COVID and a more digitally-driven era

COMMENTARY: The age of COVID and a more digitally-driven era

Much of humanity has not woken up to the reality of a more complex, much more interconnected, and digitally-driven era.
When men and women began to get ill with the COVID-19 virus in early 2020, little did the world know the length, depth, and scope of change to be visited upon humanity, in the following years.

It is early 2022. COVID-19 is as present, contagious, and as toxic as ever. The Delta and Omicron variants are the latest form of the disease, afflicting millions across the globe.

Everything has changed. And we all better get ready for a new approach to the way we work, play, relax, travel, and learn. It is projected that new variants will derive from the present pandemic, going into the near future: at least 5 years into the future from today.

Welcome to the world of Zoom and working from home. Online trading and entertainment will drive commerce and industry for the present generation. Online learning will become the norm. Homeschooling supported by tutorials is increasingly an option. Travel for the unvaccinated will be closed off for a decade, and pandemic protocols will drive greater inequality in the global marketplace.

Criminal activity will migrate from the streets to the internet as the new world of scam and virtual crime, is revealing. The new gangster is the computer whizz, adept at hacking into bank accounts. The rulers of this bold new world will be the men and women who control the internet: multi-billionaires operating from their mega yachts, private jets, and hundred million dollar mansions.

Governments must be even more proactive or lose control of the narrative. For example, recognising that online learning will become the norm will mean a new approach: designing an adaptable and creative curriculum, and a pioneering educational culture, far different from what the world is used to.

The classroom at the centre of learning may well be a relic of the past. Tomorrow’s classroom will be a computer and a desk, in a quiet corner of the home; add a handheld device and smartphone. The entrepreneur who fails to understand the ubiquitous nature of internet trading and commerce will not last long, in any industry, especially in the age of COVID, where the marketplace is increasingly virtual.

Entertainment has already moved to the computer screen and handheld device. How Hollywood and Broadway, and their counterparts around the world adapt to the age of COVID through the use of technology and the internet, will decide the future of the entertainment industry. In the age of COVID there will be winners and losers.

To dwell in the winners’ camp requires a mindset that places innovation and science at the centre of every aspect of human activity. The pre- COVID ways will not work in the new age of COVID, and beyond.

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