12 trends to emerge from Covid-19 lockdown – Chuck Stephens

By Chuck Stephens*

Without going into much detail, I have noted twelve changes of emphasis that are emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. More employees will work from home, at least part of the time. This could mean less congestion at rush-hour too? It will mean either using “the honour system” or switching to some kind of out-sourcing. The devil is in the detail.
  2. Sports superstars and billionaires will not be idolised, and could even become pariahs. Especially those who are known to evade taxes. Corporate social responsibility is not enough – at some threshold there must be a 100% tax.
  3. The purpose of schools may shift from academic to socialisation. Learners can accomplish much on their own using on-line platforms, but for sports and group activities they can meet with others. The more that this can be done outdoors, the better.
  4. Airplanes will have fewer seats, and thus higher prices. Economy class had already reached sardine proportions! Air travel will be sparser as more tourists visit the sites in their own country.
  5. Conflicted patents must be eliminated. Scientists should not be doing research to benefit financially from new vaccines. The ethics of that has been exposed. Public health should not benefit private interests to a point that pandemics could be intentional, like arson.
  6. Borders will be taken more seriously. Even provincial borders have been blocked in many countries. Expect less emphasis on globalisation and regional integration, and more energy going into deporting illegal aliens.
  7. Countries will no longer rely on imports for life-support systems. Research facilities should be outfitted for rapid conversion to manufacturing mode, during pandemics.
  8. Cremation should be considered as an alternative to burial. Culture is not static, it is dynamic and needs to keep up with the times.
  9. China’s “belt and road” is morphing into “mask and ventilator” initiative. It is a massive charm offensive.
  10. The “Chinese take-away” will be squeezed. Poaching must stop, but even depleting Africa’s natural resources will be reduced.
  11. The fossil fuels industry may never recover to its pre-Covid-19 levels. Our eyes have been opened, and Climate Change mitigation will start in earnest. Conversion to solar water heating for all homes is on the cards. Not just the feeble 50% density proposed by the National Development Plan. Let us rather outlaw electric geysers starting in 2030.
  12. Transparency and accountability will be demanded more than ever before. Government cannot take decisions behind closed doors. The people affected by decisions should always have a say in them. State Capture was bad enough in the Zuma-Gupta kleptocracy. But another Cabal of immunologists who pull the strings of public health in a way that puts us ALL at risk – for their own self-interests – is déjà vu. This is not a conspiracy theory – any more than State Capture is. The conflicted actions of this Clique must be investigated.

This list is by no mean comprehensive, it is only indicative. Innovation is by nature disruptive. A huge disruption like the pandemic should cause us all to re-think the way that we do things.

We have to dig deep and embrace deeper changes than wearing face-masks and touching toes instead of shaking hands. Otherwise, we are just moving around deck chairs on the Titanic.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung put it this way:

“You can expect no influence if you are not susceptible to influence.”

  • Chuck Stephens works at the Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership. He has written this article in his own capacity.