Will we be the same after COVID-19?
All our channels are flooded with information about statistics, tips for protecting panaceas and personal stories. After the initial "China is far", "We are not at risk", "Children canot be sick", "Only adults over 70 are in dead statistics", we have come to a more sobering stage where we have not enough time to do extensive analyzes, and quick steps must be taken to ensure that the damage does not become large enough to be recoverable.
For several years we at Casus Futura have been talking about topics like occupational burnout, mental health, a healthy work environment. We have seen that despite efforts to prioritize the health of working people, some of the illnesses and conditions associated with lifestyles, the environment and excessive levels of stress continue to grow and are not under serious business priority.Last year, we talked about the structure of the morbidity that is changing and the morbidity of people who we expect to be active participants in our workforce of the economy is increasing. We also did some timid 5d. forecasts, because for some of the conditions such as depression and occupational burnout, there are not quite accurate statistics that will allow us to say with certainty how many percent of the workforce will be able to work and how many with more individual needs in the next 5 years. When looking at the statistics for COVID-19, even before the state of emergency, we thought that to be informed daily about changes, to find logical dependencies in statistics and to anticipate the next directions of development is the most important. And we do not deny that they are important because they showed us the trajectories of the movement of the virus as well as its speed of propagation. And we began to think about how the situation, which both fears, would be ridiculed and underestimated, would change our minds. This bipolarity in human relations was just a phase of change that put us at the epicenter of the virus pretty quickly.
And suddenly we realized that the situation we were in was giving us opportunities and even kicking us in the ass to make changes in social processes, to rethink our personal relationships, even the way we do business. We were thinking in this dynamic situation whether and how quickly the changes would take place, so that we could anticipate them and be able to help our loved ones, our society, but also the business that provides us with jobs.
Can we make some predictions and believe that they are plausible enough? We can, but only time will tell which ones will be realized, because we still have choices. Let us not forget that we are currently directly involved in a situation at a public, business and personal level that we have never experienced before. Some are comparing the current situation to the major epidemics we have had in human history, looking at the results and making predictions. Some liken it to major economic recessions, but in terms of threats and defeats, it looks more like war.
There are several important facts that we have underestimated:
The speed of the spread of the virus, which has been rapidly spread worldwide through just a few very natural processes: humans work, travel, communicate.
We have no experience with an epidemic of this magnitude in the last 100 years. Why 100? Because there are no living witnesses to tell and give action advice. And for the last 100 years. we have changed the social, business and personal regulations and perceptions that any comparisons will be completely inaccurate.
We forgot pure science and medicine, while each of us thought that based on experience and access to information, he could draw any conclusions. Platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have made us believe that we know and can critically evaluate, but situations like this have shown us that sometimes even scientists are not prepared with sufficient knowledge and experience.
Even the most disciplined countries and societies find themselves unprepared for the extraordinary measures that must be respected and bring our personal and business lives to a whole new order, against which many naturally rebelled.
Lack of preparedness of governments and businesses for such a situation. We take these measures in stride, and it may be that they are not the best, but at least we can limit much of the damage. And the number one priority is to stop the spread of the infection through speed, which is one of our strongest tools.
We believed we had a lot more experience, a lot more resources and access to them so we could protect ourselves.
Now let's go back to the window to the future
It will be a look beyond the stage of initial panic and paralysis, as well as that of conflict over extremes. Substantial, even lasting, changes will come after these stages. If we have to prepare, then it will be realistic to do it for a one-year cycle. Why? Because we are not even at the peak of the spread of the virus yet. And even though most European countries have largely taken preventative measures to limit its spread, there are still countries that are at the beginning of the spread of the virus but have not taken many restrictive measures to stop it from spreading of the virus.
It should be more than clear that although Bulgaria is in the category of many restrictive measures, there will be at least two months in which, even if we control the spread, there will still be many neighboring countries / regions that will still be in the incubation period. And there is a third group that are now starting this cycle.
How can we compare emergency measures to the subsequent stages of the spread of the virus in Bulgaria?
Stage 1 Peak spread - even in the most optimistic scenarios, we cannot predict that we could limit the spread of the virus in less than a month because the incubation period of the infected will not have passed. We can prepare for emergency measures by the end of April if we manage to be strict enough and not drastically increase the number of infected. This timeframe may only apply to countries that have implemented strict anti-virus measures and are at a similar stage in the spread of the virus.
During this period, we will go through social insecurity, which if left long enough, will lead to a revision of values. Which direction - we will have the opportunity to choose.
Stage 2 Stabilization period - certainly this period will be more than six months, because the consequences that we will have to stabilize publicly and especially business will be significant.
Health - in this period of stabilization, we will still have a responsibility to people's health, even to a great extent it will still be "I depend on you, you depend on me" type.
Public - Changed processes in public regulation will most likely make those who can and know take responsibility for those who can't and don't know.
Economically - we will be able to see clearly the consequences that we will have to deal with. It will be clear how many people will be left without jobs due to their employers' inability to provide sufficient work and resources to retain them.
Stage 3 Follow-up - six months to one year is the smallest period we could expect to continue, because the changes that will be made will not be cosmetic, but significant.
What will change at the SOCIAL, PERSONAL and BUSINESS levels?
OUTSIDE THE KNOWLEDGE - OUTSIDE THE SECURITY OF POSITION AND COMPANY. We will all be driven beyond our familiar models of communication, positions and security, and this will cause us to begin to notice, evaluate, assist. Now, at the public level, we have great differences between those who often suffer from "public and corporate blindness" because of the security provided to them. This very often translates into social mechanisms as a model of behavior.
NEW FORMS OF MUTUAL SUPPORT AND COMMUNICATION - We will reassess forms such as honesty, respect, mutual assistance, and our quality of communication. New forms of assistance are already being noticed which, in a sufficiently long crisis period, would become more sustainable forms of communication. Especially for Bulgaria, the coercive measures put everyone in a new situation that we were not ready for. There is still a period of adaptation in which people think there is no danger and there will still be an awareness of our social responsibility.
We will spend a little more time with our family in a form we have never done before. The most tangible change will be for parents who have not had so much time for their children before, and now they will even have to actively participate in their learning processes. The transformations of family relationships will be interesting. How will we evaluate and how will our relationship isolation change? Will we contribute to the birth rate in a few months or will we go through all the elements of the crisis? And will we not rediscover the good old quality face-to-face communication after the isolation period?
BUSINESS PROCESSES, RELATIONSHIPS, CUSTOMERS, AND PARTNERS ARE NOT THE SAME - the unusual situation we are going through: First, it will transform many processes, close business niches and open new ones. Public attention will only increase its sensitivity and companies will be evaluated or supported for their actions during this unusual crisis. Their actions will be viewed and evaluated in extreme emotion, and will eventually pass into sober judgment. The corporate responsibility of the strong will be one of the criteria when choosing a partner and even an employer after the crisis.
EMPLOYERS can finally understand that they the health of their employees is expensive and valuable for their efficiency. So as their competency and is closely related to their motivation. The employers will have the opportunity to create new forms of employee healthcare, as well as create new forms of motivation and retention. Symbiosis employer-employees in times of crisis like this will give different "fruits" such as that they have the opportunity to be in a stronger and more conscious interconnectedness.
WORKERS will need to learn new forms of remote skills, to get bored, to slow, or to make a real difference in what we do. Finally, it will force those who have not yet tried flexible employment to do so. Will open up new forms of skills development. Jobs in times of crisis will find new and unsuspected forms of realization.
As more and more people begin to engage in hobbies, atypical activities, and focus their skills on several areas, not just one, so as to ensure stability of their own budget, but also their diverse interests after the crisis. It will show that many positions are completely redundant in the processes of companies, but will create a new or new way to fulfill the obligations. These transformations must follow several basic rules: security, open communication, and a sense of genuine concern for people.
CITIZENS This is a real crisis, one we have never heard of before. As it is during war and we are endangered indefinitely. If we are not responsible, we endanger all the people around us, as well as their loved ones. And in this sense, "pass on" takes on another meaning, in which we are aware that we are dependent on the responsible behavior of others, as well as of our own. Civil regulations will already take on a new form of social responsibility, for which the generations we have been involved in will keep a long-standing memory of it.
We will keep an eye on development directions and publish material that may be helpful to you with a different perspective on the topic.