Life is back into our kitchens, our backyards, family immediate needs and confining to our homes. Last year, I was giving a toastmaster speech about 2040, with a scenario - my granddaughter is explaining about her home schooling as a part of the daily routine. In 2018-19, I certainly did not imagine that it happens so soon.
The futurists have some sense of it, but to many it is a surprise and no doubt it is a black swan event. I am confident that the list includes the senior leadership teams of many corporate.
The 80 year old neighbour has brought my attention to how was it in 1918 when Spanish Flu was in full swing. BBC Future looked into the past to their 2018 special marking the 100th anniversary of Spanish Flu recollected that all over the world, the poor, immigrants and ethnic minorities were more susceptible. The spread was slower, thanks to the infancy of the airline industry. It seems the communities escaped the flu by closing the schools, banned public gatherings and shut off access to the village from the main road.
image Credit: Getty Images sourced from BBC
Interestingly, in an another article published in 2018, one of the doctors mentioned that the USA is probably a plane ride away from a major threat. Also the article has identified the gaps and 7 domains based plan in preparation of pandemic for 2017-2027 by Department of Health and Human Services. Similar sentiment shared by Bill Gates (early 2018) is a hindsight item to many of us. Our leadership across the societies, nations and organisations has certainly ignored it.
We have our biases towards the futures. Of the many explained scenarios from different futurists like Paul Higgins, Sohail Inayatullah, I like to see a scenario something like, The Needed Pause with a new norms.
The needed pause -- In short it is about a quick flattening the curve to help health systems cope while COVID-19 becomes just another winter flu, a vaccine is available in 6 months of time. This pause leads us to spend on the needs and no wastage of resources which slows down the pace of Anthropocene.
The new norm - We have already observed a steep drop in pleasure travel, a new norm of working from home, importance of localisation leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We care more for our neighbourhood, families, extended families, friends and I am sure many of us focus on inner lives and meditate.
Some of the other general comments that caught my attention are
Is this the start of Neo-capitalism?
Will there be more self-sufficient human communities, rather depending upon certain nations?
Will there be new business models?
I still believe it is a black swan moment as we suffer from the consequences of it.
Back to kitchen!