At the moment, the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading worldwide, and the global economy is collapsing. This is without a doubt, one of those moments when life turns upside down, full of worry and uncertainty. And as more and more people are forced to somehow adopt life into quarantine, humanity is starting a global social experiment. The ideas we thought about in previous years are rapidly and widely applied. Certainly, a difficult time awaits us, but it will also lead to some incredible changes.
Translation for Mixstuff – Igor Abramov
“Equality”, historian Walter Sheheld once wrote, “is possible only in sorrow.” At the moment, the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading worldwide, and the global economy is collapsing. This is, without doubt, one of those moments when our lives are filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
And as more and more people are forced to somehow adopt life into quarantine, humanity is starting a global social experiment. The ideas we thought about in previous years are rapidly and widely applied.
Certainly, a difficult time awaits us, but it will also lead to some incredible changes.
- Remote work
Before the epidemic, only 7 percent of working Americans were willing to work from home. This does not mean that they have done all this, according to surveys, about 93 percent said that they would never have opted for this type of employment. Today, remote work has become a necessity for many. While there are no exact figures on how many people work from home around the world, Cisco has published data according to which a coronovirus outbreak after their video conferencing software in China led to a 22-fold increase in traffic.
Therefore, the world is participating in a global experiment called “work at home”, and we still have to see how effective and viable it will be. Studies have already been done on this subject, and their results are very encouraging. Specifically, one of them showed that people working at home showed increased productivity, which corresponded to an additional 17 working days per year.
These findings have been published for a long time, but if a large number of employers see positive results from their own experience, then most likely, remote tasks will be much higher. Actually, apart from efficiency, we are talking about our satisfaction with life. Over the past decade, the average duration of travel to and from work has increased by 20 minutes, and experts say that these additional 20 minutes have reduced job satisfaction in the same way as a 19 percent reduction in wages. Impressed.
- Universal basic income
A few months ago, the universal base income seemed like a pipe dream. The idea of sending a check every month to every person in the country, even if he had never gone to work, was discussed, and even tested experimentally, but in most countries, it hardly happened There was something that could be implemented in the future.
However, it will become a reality in the next few months. The United Kingdom has promised to pay 80 percent of the average salary of its employees, while in Denmark it is proposed to pay even more – up to 90 percent. And even the United States plans to send a check for $ 1,200 to almost every adult American.
None of these schemes are fully consistent with the concept of universal basic income, but they are very close. In fact, we are talking about a large-scale experiment that will allow us to find out how such measures affect society.
It is too early to say what the result will be. Finland tried it in 2017–2018, and there they came to the conclusion that it makes people “satisfied, but unemployed”. Perhaps the same will happen worldwide. However, in one way or another, this debate will become purely theoretical when the current epidemic ends.
The area most affected by COVID-19 is manufacturing. Anyone who works in the plant knows that his company has found itself in a very difficult situation. After all, remote work is impossible when you work with your hands, so in some factories, no worker can afford to stay at home. However, for automated production that is completely controlled by robots, an epidemic is not a problem at all.
Companies that rely more on automated lines are already doing better than those where many people work, and businesses are beginning to realize the inevitability of automation. For example, Kaja Robotics reports that the number of orders increased by 25 percent in just the last 30 days.
It can be expected that many production companies will be seriously forced to engage in automation for the sake of their existence. However, this also applies to other companies. China has already started replacing taxi drivers with autonomous vehicles, and drones have been described as much faster and safer than people.
They even experimented with robotic hospitals, where machines measure the temperature of patients, distribute food and disinfect wards so that people are not exposed to the carrier of infection.
In short, by the end of this epidemic, it is possible that many jobs have already been taken over by robots.
- Online learning
In almost all countries affected by the coronovirus epidemic, schools are closing, and this is pushing parents and teachers into a new era of education. It seems that in the next few months, online learning will become normal. No matter our teachers are knowledgeable of computers, they have to learn how to make education digital.
Judging from the first response, we are unlikely to see a wide spread of online education after the epidemic. Until now, teacher reviews have been almost universally negative. He said, the main problem is that online learning removes flaws. Children whose parents do not have enough time to monitor and help are further behind, and in families that cannot access the Internet, children are usually excluded from education.
Nevertheless, today almost all teachers in the world take an accelerated course in 21st century educational technology. And this, of course, will not pass without a trace: ideas will appear that will change the school where our children study, and it will be soon. In recent years, many parents have had an inclination towards children teaching children, and since such students typically receive higher grades than children in public schools, there is a high probability that many Parents will cling to this method of education.
- Growth of government intervention in citizens’ economy and private life
Meghan McCain recently said, “There is no independent in the epidemic.” One might argue about whether it is good or bad, but there are many reasons to believe that his words are true. Since the proliferation of COVID-19, people around the world are more prepared to expand government functions.
Socialist politics began to apply worldwide, even in countries led by conservative and liberal leaders. The US government plans to spend about $ 1 trillion on the epidemic, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson generally stated that there is no limit to the amount England is willing to spend on these targets.
Totalitarianism is coming back, and it is happening quite rapidly in some countries. In Israel, the government began using the location data of citizens’ mobile phones to identify anyone who had contact with an infected person. If you were near him, you would receive a text message informing you of the need to go into isolation immediately.
Of course, McCain is exaggerating. Liberals have not gone anywhere – their voice has not been heard yet. And even if a government that does not interfere in people’s lives returns to fashion when the epidemic ends, it can be assumed that during this time, many bills will be passed that would have passed COVID-19. Will never pass before.