While the entire blue planet is literally crippled by COVID-19 pandemic in terms of economy, education, health, social life, recreational activities, and all that jazz, this unprecedented crisis has also given rise to a wide range of novel trends across the globe into the bargain. The global economy has incurred loss amounting to trillions of dollars as a result of coronavirus outbreak and this economic downturn is bound to linger for an indefinite time. To put it another way, when the world economy badly suffers, the whole life worldwide comes to a standstill. Moreover, this pandemic also has delivered a serious blow to the spheres of education, health, social life, leisure activities, and so on and so forth. Essentially, I will throw some light on some of the key trends set by this invisible foe of humanity in the 21st century.Embed from Getty Images
To begin with, since the coronavirus outbreak was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the government of China on December 31, 2019, a new epidemic previously unheard of (by many people) came to the light and it drew the global media attention significantly. The World Health Organization declared this outbreak a “ Public Health Emergency of International Concern’’ on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Since the COVID-19 outbreak took place in China, the virus transmission escalated exponentially there at first and it gradually began to spread all over the world like wildfires. As a matter of fact, this global health crisis prompted most of the countries to impose lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the virus in their national territories, and the frontiers of many countries were temporarily closed to the other nations. Following the stay-at-home orders put in place by the governments of most of the countries across the world, the domestic and international flight services including road and water transport services were brought to a halt. And still, in many countries including Nepal, the domestic and international airline companies as well as the road transport service companies haven’t yet been allowed to resume their services in the wake of this pandemic. For this reason, what we can fundamentally infer is that the lockdown or shutdown measures became a global trend on the part of almost all the countries on this earth.
In fact, the global movement restrictions confined us all to our homes and other limited spaces. As we had to isolate ourselves and social-distance ourselves from the rest of the society, we forced ourselves into a hibernation of some sort like some insects hibernate themselves during winter. And we’re still having to comply with these safety measures and protocols in order to avoid the possible COVID-19 contraction, so we find people individually distancing themselves from others these days. To be precise, the terms such as ‘’ lockdown’’, ‘’social distancing’’, ‘’individual distancing’’, ‘’quarantine’’, ‘’self-isolation’’, etc have been trending on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. And not only are they trending massively, but they are also being practiced as well.Embed from Getty Images
Similarly, I’m tempted to talk about virtual or online seminars, webinars, tutorials, some reality shows, and so on. Personally speaking, I also had a privilege to attend a few virtual talk programs where I had been invited as a speaker and I was super excited to get my message across to a large audience through these online platforms. And intriguingly, this year’s American Idol contest was also conducted online. On top of this, online tutorial for the students has been on the rise recently. As the COVID-19 has resulted in schools temporarily shut down across the globe, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom at the moment. As a result, the modus operandi of teaching has changed dramatically, with a significant rise in e-learning where the teaching is undertaken remotely and on virtual platforms such as zoom, google meet, jitsi meet, etc. Even prior to coronavirus pandemic, the global investment in online education had reached a staggering US$ 18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for virtual education was projected to reach US$ 350 billion by 2025. So it apparently bears witness to the fact that there has been a significant surge in online pedagogy since the COVID-19 outbreak. And I feel that this new trend will continue for years on end.
As far as individual health is concerned, people have become more cognizant of their personal health hazards during this pandemic. After the WHO and the countries suggested that people put on face-coverings or masks, people in almost all countries, which have been worst hit by a coronavirus, have been wearing these safety gears, and Nepalese people are not the exception either. Likewise, in most countries, putting on masks has been made a norm by the government itself, so it goes to show that the face-cover business has boomed significantly of late all over the world. And surprisingly, a wide variety of face covers are up for grabs in the market, and to some extent, the availability of trendy face masks reinforces the fact that the face-covers have also been in fashion these days. On the other hand, as people are confined to their homes, they lack adequate physical activities. For these reasons, most of them have started practicing yoga exercises which are truly the ancient oriental way of taking exercise and becoming as fit as fiddle.Embed from Getty Images
In the wake of COVID-19, socialization has tremendously dropped worldwide, and the way people enjoyed themselves also has undergone substantial changes now, for the social distancing is the norm at the moment in an effort to avert the virus infection. For this reason, the use of social networking sites has significantly risen and people spend a lot of time on these platforms to get connected to their loved ones and socialize with their families, friends, and relatives. And I had lately seen some instances of online dating too. In addition to this, when it comes to recreation, most people turn to social networking sites which are genuinely a safe haven for the youths, adults, and senior citizens alike.
Taking everything into consideration, the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth plight and pleasure both. While it became a curse for hundreds of thousands of people who lost their precious lives and their loved ones, it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise for millions of people. And above all, it fundamentally prompted completely novel trends right across the globe, and also it taught us all to break with the tradition in one way or another.