All over the world, work from home has become the new norm in the wake of deadly coronavirus that has effectively shut down borders. Devoid of shipments and transportation, global economy has been grounded to a halt.
As the Great Depression of October 1929 crashed stock markets and wiped out millions of investors bringing in new economic habits thrift and saving, so was the 2008 cash crunch that made a pay hike a distant dream for millions of work force across the countries.
As every economic shock jolted the global economy out of its shape to be re-structured for a better one, so will the new coronavirus that might leave behind a trail of isolation with far-reaching economic activities.
Mask to become a permanent mark?
Millions of mask-wearing workers working remotely from homes, stocking up on food and essentials, will become a norm soon. "Once effective work-from-home policies are established, they are likely to stick," Karen Harris of consultancy firm Bain's Macro Trends Group in New York told Bloomberg.
The virus has essentially changed the perception of all humans toward hygiene, whether they're poor or rich. Already the focus of medicare includes a mandatory hand-wash for all visitors at shops, malls and public places with sanitizers freely provided.
"This outbreak is unprecedented in terms of its nature of uncertainty and associated social and economic impact," said Kazuo Momma, Japan's monetary expert told Bloomberg. It will usher in new border restrictions, new commuting style, even by air in private jets.
Universal healthcare system
Above all, the demand for a universal healthcare system becomes a necessity now, setting aside parochial political interests. It will be reiterated when 38 million Americans who require Medicare amid coronavirus outbreak, decide in November whether Trump should stay on or not owing to his narrow healthcare agenda.
E-commerce or online shopping is likely to replace traditional shopping experience in malls now. In 2003, when SARS outbreak challenged China, people shifted immediately to online shopping. More than that, it had wiped off $40 billion off the global economy, according to a paper by Warwick McKibbin of the Australian National University.
Fabrizio Pagani, a former adviser to the Prime Minister of Italy, says every economic shock leads to conservation and efficiency. "The demand shock determined by the great financial crisis was the rationale for a new, quite radical, regulatory framework across the banking and financial sectors." He expects powerful shift from classroom to online schooling and distance learning.
No wonder, James Boughton, who worked at IMF for decades, says:"Every crisis is also an opportunity."