Things in our beloved USA will never be the same, so say the pundits.
The Coronavirus, the so called Covid-19 will, when it is finally over and done with, usher in a new age, a new technological era. This change was already happening, step by step, slowly, manageable, understandable and beneficial. Corona however has made this new technology king of the road.
There will be a NEW NORMAL. We who have always had our feet on the ground will now have our:
HEAD IN THE CLOUD.
Virtual will become the priority over real. The internet with all of its incredible number of products will rule. It will be in many ways Americas first priority. Social media will expand faster than ever. Facebook so it seems is now the new American bread and butter. REAL TIME will never again have the meaning it once had. The changes in how we do business, our lifestyles and our persons will be more comprehensive, faster and dominating. The Coronavirus has ushered in a new day and age virtually overnight.
There comes a new normal for the world of business. A goodly portion of our business world will change, some of it radically, others more the methodology than the substance, that is how business does business rather than a fundamental change in the nature of the business. And, the new technology will take the weak, the aging, the overly expensive part of our business model and do away with it once and for all. There were businesses which were able to function pre–Coronavirus, now shut down never to return. We the people will need to adapt to those changes and in fact become part of them.
So much of the business world is under lockdown. If it is not ESSENTIAL (I wonder who defines what is essential), the business, its owners and employees are quarantined, forbidden. So many of our businesses struggle even now to be deemed essential so that they can operate. The federal government and every one of our 50 states have considerable regulations and requirements, tougher by the day and everyone non–essential is continuously urged and admonished to:
We are allowed to travel, drive our cars if we are essential but otherwise, unless we go to the grocery stores or pharmacies, we are required by Presidential or Governor mandate to STAY HOME. Whenever we venture out in public, virtually every state requires us to wear a mask and gloves where possible. The mask seems to protect others from any bacteria or virus we may have but seems to have little effect, very little protection against the mask wearer contracting the virus. But the mask does help so wear it.
And of course, wash our hands. Wash them thoroughly, learn how to really wash your hands and as importantly, dry them. It seems as though the virus has a liking for the wet. So wash, and use disinfectants wherever you can. GOOD ADVICE! But, restrictive and often times difficult.
This little virus, the Coronavirus, invisible to the human eye has not only changed the world in so many ways, but done unbelievable harm to the economies of the world and our very own country. Federal and state governments have had no choice but to provide financial aid and support to businesses and individuals as the economy virtually shuts down. There has never been an unemployment situation in America like the one today, not even The Great Depression of 1929. As of Friday, April 17, 23 million people, 23 MILLION PEOPLE had filed for unemployment insurance. That staggering number crashed computers, overloaded states and the federal government agencies dealing with labor and unemployment and made it impossible to stay current with the demands and needs of the people. America, we the people were totally unprepared for this little flu–like virus and it radically impacted every aspect of our lives and lifestyles politically, socially, spiritually and perhaps long run most importantly ECONOMICALLY. It will probably take months for our economy to begin to open and return, and literally years before there is any kind of normalcy. The word Corona will live in infamy the world over.
A lasting phenomenon from Covid–19 is the new business model:
WORK AT HOME.
That was a phenomenon growing gradually pre–Corona. But when the virus required business lockdowns, literally millions more began to work from home. Businesses and corporations, once lukewarm to working at home and remotely, offered the opportunity gladly so that the business could be done at least to some extent. A new flexibility for working became the new business model. So many could now do their work at home, on their schedule, as long as they did what was required. Actual hours worked became secondary. Everything about the business was accessible by computer, laptop, iPads and even iPhones. There was little need to go to the office. And, it seemed that Americans embraced the opportunity to work at home.
It gave them, so many said, better balance, the balance of time between their personal and professional lives. There was more time for family, for sharing, for loving. There was less pressure and perhaps very important, gone was the daily commute to and fro the business. That commute time saved became so valuable, whether the hours were used for business or personal matters. One could work at home whether at 5:00 am or 10:00 am in the morning, and at night if that was more convenient or even on the weekends. Work flexibility was the new normal. In fact, it was so well received by millions of Americans that one survey of workers indicated that 82 PERCENT of those workers had no intention of ever again returning to THE OFFICE! Work at home was the normal and work at the office was occasional. FLEX HOURS AND FLEXIBILITY WERE THE NEW NORM. Working remote was king!
That of course assumed that the work required could be done outside the office. There were and are some businesses where work at the office and with others is required and cannot be changed. For them, the old normal, the old way of doing business remains. But where there are options, and with the permission and approval of the employer, work at home is highly preferred.
Employers were concerned about accountability, and still are. Working at home provides many distractions, and temptations, and changes in mood, energy and perhaps even will power. Where working accountability could be measured, requirements could be sent and productivity evaluated. But, said the employer, where work product was more subjective, it was and would be difficult to measure productivity, and working discipline, and number of hours and the requirements of the job. Working at home or working remotely would only be offered to truly responsible employees. But working differently and outside the office has in fact become the new normal and it is often the first question asked in employment interviews, perhaps as important as compensation itself.
Business and employers were concerned about the long–term effect of THE IN–PERSON. Interaction of employees in person produced benefits and results not available in any other way. Issues could be thoroughly dealt with, problems and potential not solvable by artificial intelligence could be dealt with by real people working in real time. Meetings, employee interaction could be accomplished by ZOOM where the participants could be seen, or by conference calls but the human in–person factors often so critical to business would be missing. That would certainly affect training of new employees. And face-to-face encounters with clients and patrons of the business. The business assets would change. The equity of the business once so largely made up of human equity, human resources, the employees who made the business happen would change if not decline. Business owners were concerned that without the human factor, a new avenue for competition would open, less dependent upon quality workers and more so dependent upon the skills and capabilities of the competitor in the new digital world. That of course would affect investments, bank loans and credits, shareholder investment and share prices and of course compensation. All of that and more is now in play and will be even more so post–Corona and the American economy, not only struggling to return and pay for itself, will experience a new wave of change, growth, competition with serious displacement of perhaps millions of workers. Corona has ushered in an economic revolution. CORONA HAS USHERED IN A SEA CHANGE virtually overnight and the economic shockwaves may take years to fully understand and digest, and incorporate into new business models.
We the people are resilient, resistant, realistic and ready I do believe for these changes once they are fully understood. The American ingenuity, resolve and concern for doing things right will triumph. We the people are adaptable and accountable. When we understand the full effects of Corona, we will respond and we will embrace the new normal however long it takes. As America defines the new ESSENTIAL, we will call upon our character and courage which we have always regarded as EXCEPTIONAL and we will indeed recreate our lifestyles, change them for the better and in due course, resume our position as economic leader of the world.
But the challenge will be significant. There is hurt and difficulty to come. The new normal will not be easy. It will not happen gradually as it might have if there had been no Corona. It is here, it is now, it is pervasive and demanding and there is no other choice, NO OTHER OPTION but to respond.
AND WE WILL! That I firmly believe. There is no quit in we the people. In fact, it may toughen us, produce a new resolve, a more positive character and hopefully not a further and weak dependence upon governments to bail us out and solve our problems. The most damaging effect of Corona would be the advancement of socialism in America. If that happens, Corona wins and wins big time. If we can control even eradicate the virus, then we must control and prevent its most negative effects like socialism. Time will tell. But, knowing this country and my fellow Americans, and having lived through the after effects of The Great Depression, and the Second World War, and post World War II America and the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the assassination of Kennedy and the corruption of Nixon, and the tremendous economic crash of 2008:
I BELIEVE IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
Whatever challenge, whatever change Corona demands:
WE THE PEOPLE WILL RESPOND.
Do you agree? Will the American people, our brothers and sisters, and you and I respond and:
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?