Laboratory of Pittsburgh University to study Corona vaccine. — REUTERS Photo
The Covid-19 pandemic is becoming a recorded highlight in the modern history as a disaster that changes the world where new trends are quickly formed and people are also forced to adapt them. However, those changes are also opening up wonderful things in the future.
Change of the concept of globalization
Covid-19 is considered by analysts to be changing the concept of globalization - a trend that has dominated many aspects of socio-economic life in recent decades. Globalization was previously defined as one of the important factors stimulating economic development and bringing prosperity and wealth to nations. However, recently, it is globalization that causes disease outbreaks and production disruptions on a global level. Border gates are closed while immigration is limited, and even multinational companies are considering bringing home their production lines to avoid risk to future supply chains.
Despite such negative changes, the world has never seen the concept of "globalization" expressed as strongly and clearly as in the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 fosters the collaboration of thousands of scientists from many different countries, working day and night on new strains of viruses to find vaccines - the "antidote" for the disease. Furthermore, it facilitates the mutual support and assistance between nations. It also brings about a considerable change in perception and habits as Americans and Europeans no longer discriminate against wearing masks thanks to which many Asian countries have effectively controlled the disease.
In a 3-minute video posted on her Instagram account on March 19, 2020, Gal Gadot – the actress who stars in the "Wonder Woman" movie – sang the first verse of Imagine (by John Lennon) and posted that "Covid-19 affects everyone, whoever we are, where we come from, we are in the same situation". This pandemic is probably a wake-up call enabling us to acknowledge the fact that we all have been and will be living under one roof and despite the boundaries, “globalization” will still continue, but in a different way.
The emergence of technology
In addition to social distancing which caused schools to be closed and people to change to working from home, Covid-19 forced people to change many habits and create opportunities for technology to emerge strongly.
E-commerce has also been booming and e-payment is favored for its convenience and safety thanks to the elimination of risks due to direct contact and use of cash. In Viet Nam, as reported by Ipsos MORI, in March 2020, 57% of Vietnamese consumers have turned to online shopping for items that they used to buy directly. As reported by National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS), from Lunar New Year to mid-March 2020, the total number of non-cash payment transactions via Napas increased by 76% while the total transaction value increased by 124% over the same period in 2019.
Many offices started work-from-home policy with online meetings via Skype, task assignment and management via WeWork, email, Viber or Zalo, etc. This is expected to open a new era in which teleworking will become part of people's daily routine. "Once effective work-from-home policies are established, they are likely to stick,” said Karen Harris, managing director of consultancy Bain's Macro Trends Group in New York.
Catching up with this trend, many enterprises soon adapted to "coexist" effectively with Covid-19. Sun Group – one of the leading enterprises in Viet Nam, with up to tens of thousands of employees – prepared readily and promptly from the first days of the pandemic. Minh Ngoc, an employee of this group, said that even before the social distancing policy was applied by the Government, the group held training courses on using online software to support work-from-home and online meetings while preparing facilities, installing and instructing staff to effectively use devices and applications to meet business needs even when we are not in the office. As a result, the work is still done while ensuring the safety of employees and Government's control of the pandemic.
"Change for future" challenges.— Photo courtesy of SunGroup.
Value of little things
Covid-19 brought about something unprecedented: it has forced billions of people around the world to stay home for social distancing for many days. Only when the bustle of life suddenly breaks down and consumer culture is changed dramatically, people realise the values that seem to be forgotten in life.
Things that used to be normal, like going for a walk, become luxurious. Things that someone may never want to do every day such as bringing trash to trash bins become a little joy of many people as they can step outside for several minutes only enough to breathe a little air of freedom. Busy mothers have more time for their families. Many CEOs now become fathers who cook dishes every day for their families.
On social networks, a series of challenges are created for people to connect, share and do something new and useful. Many large corporations also carry out interesting internal activities during the pandemic to spread optimism and engage employees working from home besides creating positive changes even during the pandemic. Thu Thuy, a Sun Group employee, said that she performed “Hello the Sun" exercise (Hatha Yoga Asanas) according to the Change for Future challenge launched by the Group. “It is just a small exercise, but it will bring many health benefits if done regularly. The funniest thing is seeing my office teammates take challenges related to cooking, musical talent or reading culture, making this time more meaningful,” she added.
Covid-19 is a challenge but also an opportunity for unprecedented innovation from the global to individual scale. It is not useless if each person knows how to take advantage of the situation to change and improve himself as the solidarity and unity win the disease. Real life doesn't have superheroes saving the world, but each of us has the power to change the world in our own way.