Innovative Strategies for the Post-Pandemic Era

Computers & TechnologyTechnology

  • Author Sean Tan
  • Published August 13, 2021
  • Word count 6,616

Abstract

The paper aims explore the impact of the current pandemic across different social and economic environments, which affect all activities globally and drastically alter the livelihood and activities of individuals and governments globally. There will be a high level assessment and comparison of historical landmark pandemics with the current COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts. I will further elaborate on the impact on businesses across various sectors, individual and governments Despite heavy government subsidies, most businesses suffer badly due the economic coming close to a standstill by triggered by a global quarantine. The pandemic forces an impetus to innovation globally and trends driving the new normal, forcing governments and businesses to identify and deploy innovative strategies in tackling the crisis. While mostly businesses suffer and fold, some innovative technology and disease treatment businesses, like robotics, videoconferencing, advanced production, tests kits, ventilators, gloves, etc, are able to significantly thrive during this global recession. I will share how some businesses that are negatively impacted quickly change their businesses model and direction to meet changing demands and how some innovative technologies like robotics, AI, automation, videoconferencing are specifically adopted in education, healthcare, manufacturing. The paper will predict and share how the new world normal will be like and how technologies will be rapidly adopted to mitigate the demand and workforce behavior shift globally.

Keywords: COVID-19, crisis, digitalization, economy, innovation, new normal, new industries, revolution, recession, technologies driven strategies, workforce

Innovative Strategies for the Post-Pandemic Era

Introduction

The impact of the current pandemic has been significant, and it is paramount to elaborate these effects to enable key innovative strategies to be effective and ideal. The paper aims to highlight these impacts across various social and economic settings and identify the novel solutions employed in tackling the crisis. The research has been categorized into four chapters.

I. COVID-19: Impact and Comparison to past crisis: In this chapter, a general assessment of notable pandemics across human history, including the pre-history era, was highlighted and compared with the present-day pandemic. The socio-economic impact accompanied by the pandemic was also elaborated in this chapter.

II. Implication on Business and Workforce: The chapter emphasizes the global implication the pandemic has on businesses and the workforce, stating how various industries and businesses succumbed to the unfavorable impact of the pandemic.

III. The New Normal: In this chapter, some activities that have been induced by the pandemic have been discussed and projected to maintain long after the pandemic. These activities include industries, business, and even education, revolutionizing each sector by employing novel tactics that would remain even in a post-Covid era.

IV. Key innovative strategies for future-ready companies: This chapter covers basic strategies and innovations both in methodology and technology that have been influenced (favorably) by the pandemic.

COVID-19: Impact and Comparison to Past Crises

Since the pre-historic era of modern humanity (before the industrial revolution), civilization has been plagued with varying degrees of pandemics. It can also be argued that based on the geo-specificity of some of the ancient epidemics prior to the twentieth century, most would not be termed as a pandemic in a modern world setting. In regard to this, Dr. Fukuda K., an assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment (WHO) in 2009, stated that severity of disease plays a major role in the classification of a disease or illness as a global pandemic or epidemic. According to him, earlier versions of the 'Pandemic Planning Guidance' focused on a number of various ideals, which include the evolution of viruses, contagion, severity, etc. He adds that these models are too complicated and phases in their classifications too complex and open to ambiguity in application and interpretations by many countries.

Trends in Past and Current Pandemics

Most scholarships have supported the claim that the severity of disease goes a long way in classifying an epidemic as a pandemic, with great emphasis on their fatality rates (Carrie et al., 2013).The severity and fatality rate of an epidemic consequently makes it a pandemic (Potter, 2001). and epidemics that occurred broadly and globally before the industrial age may or may not have been tagged as pandemics in our modern age.

From the onset of the twentieth century to its end, three major global pandemics were recorded – first, the great 'Spanish Flu' of 1918 (Barro et al. 2020), the 'Asian Flu' (H2N2) of 1957 (Jackson, 2009), and the 'Hong Kong Flu' (H3N2) of 1968 (Starling 2006). In analyzing the trends of epidemics across modern history, one daunting conclusion can be drawn. That is, as civilizations become more advanced due to industrialization and globalization, the means by which these pandemics propagate, mutate, and spread become more favorable. Hence the ever-increasing ease in transportation, globalization, and industrialization can favor the rapid spread of the disease-causing virus during a pandemic. This is evident in the twenty-first century, which has seen over three global pandemics and counting in less than a quarter of the century gone; that is, Bird Flu in 2009 (N1H1) (Lycett et al. 2019), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002 (Smith, 2006), and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2019 (Moghadas et al. 2020).

Impact of Pandemics on Socio-Economic Activities

Although the Spanish Flu peaked towards the end of the first world war, the economic and social effects the Flu impacted on established activities was paramount; with some authors noting that the impact might have been more substantial than reported (Barro and Ursúa, 2008). Barro et al. (2020) focused on the impacts (disaster) caused by pandemics (mainly the Spanish Flu and COVID-19) on a macro economy. They defined these impacts as a collective deterioration over a well-defined duration by about 10 % in real per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It followed that the first world war, the second world war, and the Spanish Flu grossed the highest impact on the macro economy within our recent era. According to the authors, the Spanish Flu of 1918 may have been the next significant adverse macroeconomic impact globally, but the current pandemic is edging through.

Other reports have related the economic downfall from the Coronavirus to World War II (Reuters, 2020). The current pandemic (COVID-19) is unusual, economically, of course. Prior pandemics are mainly felt by countries that are more or less economically frail at the time, but the current pandemic is mainly focused on the economic juggernauts of our current era (Baldwin and Weder di Mauro, 2020). In response to the ever-increasing cases of the virus, economic powerhouses have sort to implement the 'containment' and 'mitigation' procedures (WHO, 2009) as a means of 'flattening the epidemic curve' (Nicola et al., 2020). These include the general lockdown of public activities, travel restrictions, border closures, isolation, and quarantine, creating concerns about imminent economic downfall and recession (Ozili and Arun, 2020).

Figure 1: Flattening the pandemic curve

Source: Detmer et al. 2021 (https://relief.unboundmedicine.com/relief/view/Coronavirus-Guidelines/2355041/all/Epidemic__Epi__Curves_for_Coronavirus_COVID_19)

Figure 1 illustrates the importance of the mitigation and containment measures amidst the pandemic. Although these measures help limits the maximum number of cases, and hence the number of deaths accompanied by the pandemic, they, however, prolong the duration and hence the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. From previous experience of earlier pandemics, scholars have reported that anxiety and isolations accompanied with these sorts of the outbreak has adverse impacts on economic and social activities (Bermejo, 2004; Arndt and Lewis, 2001) such as agriculture, education, mental health, etc.

Impact on Agriculture

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2020), the organization maintained that COVID-19 is upsetting agricultural activities via two important modes; that is the 'supply' and 'demand' for food. The pandemic has taken a deep toll on the food supply; due to the anxiety accompanied by the virus on the public amidst lockdown and quarantine, the agricultural industry witnesses a global rush in terms of panic buying and stocking of long-lasting food, such as cereals, pasta, flour, etc. (Jámbor et al. 2020). Thus, creating a negative impact and scarcity of essential commodities towards the mid-2020, which was almost the peak of the first wave (Bochtis et al. 2020). As domestic restrictions were relaxed in many of these nations, the circulation of domestic agricultural produce and staple products began to stabilize, and the availability of these products became more apparent (Siche, 2020). The same cannot be said for nations that rely heavily on imported products since most state borders were closed, and international trade limited (Pulighe & Lupia, 2020; Bochtis et al. 2020). On the other hand, the negative impact from 'supply' of food as a result of general public restrictions encouraged a worldwide drop in food 'demand' in major food service industries, which include markets, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, etc. (Berg-Weger & Schroepfer, 2020). Consequently, food demand diminished as a result of the unpredictability of the disease and the minimization of individuals spending ability due to the economic impact of the virus.

Impact on Mental Health

Due to the precarious nature of the virus, its threat to livelihoods, the rising global death toll, and the significant number of confirmed cases worldwide, the fear of contracting the disease, depression, and insomnia amongst the public has been reported (Wang et al., 2020). From the emergence of the virus, governments and international bodies have been more concerned with mitigating the economic impact of the virus and curbing the spread of the virus by enforcing policies such as social distancing, isolation, quarantine, restriction of mass gathering and activities, etc.

This protracted seclusion from the public and the absence of any form of physical contact from friend and relatives outside an isolation cycle betrays and disrupts the fundamental disposition and characteristic of human nature; which coupled with panic about the uncertainties of the virus, financial burden, and other psychologically traumatic aspects paints a volatile setting (Lin et al. 2020). Of the myriad misconceptions and misinformation circulating the internet about the pandemic, researchers at Cornell University concluded that the former US President Donald Trump was linked to about 38 % of the total 'misinformation conversation' ('infodemic') (KHN, 2020). Furthermore, Aksut (2020) stated that about 200 individuals died with numerous more poisoned from alcohol overdose in Iran, stating that the claims circulating the internet that alcohol consumption cures the virus propagated these events. Studies have acknowledged regular exposure to social media/news relating to COVID-19 as a cause of anxiety and stress symptoms (Gao et al., 2020).

Impact on the Global Economy

In an article on 'Anxiety about the global economy in Davos' by David Dollar and Douglas A. Rediker, they suggested that key factors such as the selection of the next World Bank and World Trade Organization leaders, U.S-China trade war, the case of Brexit and the EU and the United States presidential elections would take center stage in the key issues that would impact the world economy in the next decade (Dollar and Rediker, 2019). The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic changed the entire global economic setting, creating a center stage for new economic precedence. The economic impact during the pandemic is unprecedented. Cases of financial loss due to an outbreak have been reported extensively. During the SARS epidemic in China, it was reported that countries in Asia lost about 12 to 18 billion USD as the epidemic affected economic activities (Wishnick, 2010). The worldwide economic impact caused by the SARS outbreak amounted to about 30 to 100 billion USD (Smith, 2006). While in 2003 alone, the virus provoked a decrease of 1 % in China's GDP and 0.5 % in southeast Asia (MacKellar, 2007).

Similarly, in the case of the coronavirus pandemic, in late February of 2020, when the first cases gripped Europe and the Americans, about $6 trillion USD in wealth was erased by global stock marketers; also, approximately $5 trillion in value was lost in the United States around the same time from the S&P 500 index, with the ten largest firms in the S&P 500 taking a totalized loss of about $1.4 trillion (Randewich, 2020; Ozili and Arun, 2020). As a consequence of these downtrends in the global economy, the IMF predicted a global recession that would be similar to the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, with an economic resurgence in 2021 (Georgieva, 2020). As a result of pressure on various governments by the pandemic to create a swift response and react to an already precarious disease, most nations enacted policies that have both positive and negative impacts on the global economy, leading many countries into recession.

Figure 2: Global economic impact of the pandemic

Source: Lee (2020) (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/28/5-charts-show-covid-impact-on-the-global-economy-in-2020.html)

Figure 2 shows the change in the economic measure of activities (GDP) across some selected regions corresponding to the largest economics and, similarly, the most affected regions by the pandemic with respect to affected cases. Additionally, it depicts a clear comparison between the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and the current pandemic, showing how the economics of these regions plunged to a record low.

The impact of the current pandemic has surpassed health defects and transcends other sectors and activities. Unlike pre-historic and other epidemics that have ravaged the world in previous eras, the current pandemic has affected most dominant world nations, and the socio-economic downfall accompanied by the crisis has been unprecedented in the recent era. The crisis has triggered a global quarantine, affecting all activities from agriculture, education, mental health, etc., drastically altering the livelihood and activities of individuals and governments in the world at large.

Implications on Businesses and Workforce

A century ago, a lot of questions and hindrances towards global business circled about means of minifying business failure and growth opportunities (Amankwah-Amoah & Syllias, 2020). Before now, these issues seemed like the utmost challenge surrounding a business scope; however, the current turn of events such as global warming and presently the coronavirus has changed the scope of business sustainability. Walsh (2020) noted that small and large firms are yielding to the impact of the pandemic, with the author predicting a surge in 'mega bankruptcies.' Approximately 7% of small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the UK were closed for good as a result of trends by the pandemic, with as many others on the brink of crumble. In addition to these challenges, most businesses initiated numerous palliatives which include, fewer hours, locked workplaces, distant working or working from home, and severances (Amankwah-Amoah et al. 2020).

Implication on business activities

Ozili and Arun (2020) described the implications of the global pandemic on businesses and the workforce in general as primarily a result of the global economic shock in both demand and supply and the 'spillover' of these effects on business within the economy. The International Civil Aviation Organization (2020) suggested that at its peak, the pandemic may result in cutbacks and slips of about 71 % of passengers and approximately 1.5 billion travelers globally by the year's end. This decline in seating capacity in the aviation sector affected the financial capacity of many airline companies, causing the closure of a few (Amankwah-Amoah et al. 2020; Ozili and Arun, 2020). This financial crisis led the firm to sort for a $58 billion USD bailout package (Muller, 2020), typifying the perilous impact of the coronavirus on aviation businesses. Hotel businesses and restaurants have also suffered the impact of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, with executives laying-off workers and pay-cuts on staffs' income. This led the hotel sector to seek a bailout of $150 billion USD for its businesses, a number of which are owned by franchisees or small business owners; also, for another $100 billion USD for businesses such as shops, restaurants, etc. (Muller, 2020). Likewise, in the workforce, basically in the agricultural industry, the pandemic has gravely affected the agricultural workforce, primarily the number of seasonal agricultural labor. Most of which are basically migrants, and as a result of border closures, international restrictions, and social-distancing policies; there is a drastic decrease in the amount of available worker force available (Bochtis, 2020), with sometimes age been a major setback in the workforce availability (Berg-Weger & Schroepfer, 2020). Hence, the effects of the pandemic range from job losses, pay cuts, bankruptcies, and closures, as well as massive business debts and bailouts.

Figure 3: Unemployment rate across regions

Source: Lee (2020) (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/28/5-charts-show-covid-impact-on-the-global-economy-in-2020.html)

Figure 3 illustrates the effects the pandemic has on businesses and the workforce in general, showing how the unemployment rate has been highly altered by the crisis across various regions, with the highest being reported in the United States.

The Next Normal: Trends That Will Define the Future

One common claim is generally accepted, that is, the preceding era would be ideologically and fundamentally different from the pre-covid 19 eras (Bonacini et al. 2020). Therefore, it is only logical to analyze these changes and common trends that would define this new era. As stated earlier, Ozili and Arun (2020) reported that the global economic impact of the pandemic would ripple into other sectors and industries, creating a crisis as a 'spillover.' The ripple can be measured, studied, and quantified with respect to the business or industry it is affecting. The effect of the current pandemic created an effect on the economic and social livelihood of individuals, and these effects would ripple as we transition toward a post-pandemic era ushering in a new normal.

The New Normal

The 'new normal' has often and always been a well-stated fact and sometimes a contentious one too. As the wave of the pandemic is shifted, with series of vaccines been produced and international restrictions accompanied by the pandemic been eased across the nation (Berg-Weger & Schroepfer, 2020), some common questions remain. What is the new normal, and do we return to the conventional normal? (that is, the way it has been done). In all these queries, one thing is clear, that is, the global economic and social spillover makes the 'conventional normal improbable. These values are vivid in the zeal and attention towards forthcoming occurrence; that is to say, reacting to a future crisis is becoming cardinal in the mentality of present and future generations (Buheji and Ahmed, 2020b). One other means in which this new normal value is evident is in the knowledge industry. Academic materials usually take a while to be accepted and issued; but presently, this requires just a few weeks to be processed. Therefore, this massive transition is showing the urgency in which circulation of information and knowledge has become paramount amidst the surge of the pandemic, characteristics which are likely to the maintained as a 'new normal value' in a post-pandemic era (Gianola et al. 2020).

The clearest changes in this 'new normal' are likely to be in healthcare and safety institutes globally. Changes in health and safety attitudes in both government and individuals are expected to be more rigorous. This new normal will experience an increase in health safety budget and emergency readiness by most nations and international bodies. Safety equipment such as PPEs, prevention, and detection devices would be available and assessable, having higher trends starting from 2020 till 2023 (Buheji and Ahmed, 2020a). The new normal would be entirely revolutionary and unprecedented since the pandemic would have affected both trivial and primal activities of our livelihood.

Trends Defining the New Normal

Tourism

According to Benjamin et al. (2020), the current pandemic has created a chance or even an urgency not only for massive financial and marketing recovery but also for immense reformation and transformation of an already crippling industry, which was made evident by the pandemic. Specifically, in tourism transformation, the equity should be the primal aim. The 'new normal' that accompanies this transformation would identify the predicaments dominating the tourism industry well before the pandemic started, together with a cognitive and introjected pro-equity plan (Benjamin et al. 2020). Brouder et al. (2020) maintain that when it comes to tourism, there has always been a 'normalized' method of approach in regard to activities instead of a 'normal.' According to the author, the respite as a result of restrictions caused by the pandemic on Tourism has actually depicted signs of institutional changes towards 'socializing tourism,' with the change instilled in the new normal for the foreseeable future. They added that the possibility of this transformation in the ideology with cause a paradigm shift in activities of social tourism and spread across countries as world leaders are responsively seeking for job increment to palliate the accumulated and already deepened joblessness. Glasmeier (2020) noted that policymakers and government would contemplate the advantage of raising the poor minimum wage to an actual 'living wage' as a means of safeguarding the tourism industry and its staff in case of another global crisis.

Education

Since the onset of this new decade, the world is edging towards a new era of electronic learning (eLearning). A global age that is reliant on electronic learning equipment now more than before; this reliance is not primarily attributed to innovations and technological advancements of this modern age but also as a result of the pandemic impact. This drastic and sudden shift in educational ideology from traditional to more electronic-based learning has been described as a 'forced shift to eLearning' instead of a willing and intended embrace (Ray, 2020).. According to the author, 44 % of the group are not familiar with eLearning activities prior to the outbreak, whereas about 70 % of the group only became conversant with such a platform after the coronavirus outbreak, with about 67 % of the population stating that eLearning was easier than conventional learning. This trend is becoming a new normal, which is expected to continue long after the impact of the pandemic has receded.

The effect of the pandemic and its outcome is expected to cause a paradigm shift in activities and ideology in a post-pandemic era. Prior disasters (pandemic, epidemic, war, etc.) have altered the activities of businesses and individuals, which has been maintained to the present day. So also, it is expected that the activities of the post-pandemic era will be different from the pre-covid era, ushering in a new normal. This new normal will be spread to all sectors, including education, finance, tourism, etc. In as much as this trend may or may not be generally accepted by the public, factors such as adaptation, surviving, and even globalization due to industrial advancements would vastly favor the survival and eventual persistence of this trend in the world.

Key Innovative Strategies for Future-Ready Companies

Scholars have reported that a vast amount of present and previous innovations and technological advancements are produced as a consequence of distinct occurrences or disasters, allowing or creating novel technological prospects (Taalbi, 2017). For instance, the internet was invented by the United States Department of Defense at the peak of the cold war due to fear of Soviet supremacy in space technology (Lemonaki, 2020). Drastic improvements in the healthcare system, changes in protective equipment and housing scheme were all noted after the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, and innovations in great art and music as a consequence of ancient plagues/pandemics (Mcdonald, 2020). And also, following the impact of the second world war, innovations such as the commercialization of penicillin, medical advances in trauma treatment, skin grafts, blood transfusion, and technological advances in microwaves, radar technology, ENIAC computers, etc., were also accomplished (National WWII Museum). The emergence of the coronavirus outbreak appeared at a technological boom era, which is as a result of modernized studies in areas that include robotics, advanced production, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and also the integration of their equivalent applications into conventional activities and sectors (Zimmerling & Chen, 2021). Restrictions as a result of the pandemic have influenced daily lives, discontinued educational activities, affected both small- and large-scale business and governmental organizations. In view of these effects, researchers have predicted that the pandemic would be an impetus to innovation globally and trends driving the new normal, with a number of these innovations showing possibilities for lasting changes (Zimmerling & Chen, 2021).

Innovative Shift for Future-Ready Companies

Presently, the global community is showing signs of acclimatizing to the new normal. Be that as it may, it is paramount it analyzes present innovations in various industries and businesses capable of causing a long-term technological shift which has been evident from past pandemic and crisis (Zimmerling & Chen, 2021).

4.1.1 Digital Technologies

By means of the restrictions and guidelines compelling workplaces, firms, schools, and other non-essential organizations to retire, a general pressing need to maintain a sense of sanity and normalcy during the lockdown propelled the innovative implementation and utilization of digital technologies (Hsiang et al. 2020). One digital tool that has benefited from these events is Telemedicine (Ohannessian et al. 2020). Telemedicine, once defined as a shared virtual communication involving a patient and healthcare provider using visual and audio devices and software, has advanced to become a solution to the delivery of sustained healthcare while curtailing hazards accompanied by the pandemic (Ohannessian et al. 2020). The emergence of the pandemic has propelled innovative methods to broaden the scope of telemedicine, such as mental health, virtual visits, etc. (Ohannessian et al. 2020). A combination of these ideology with digital platforms and devices has improved the mitigation and monitoring of the virus (smart wearable healthcare, SWH). Governments in countries like China, Israel and Italy has employed these technologies during the peak of the pandemic; with China using smartphones, facial recognition cameras to monitor and detect virus with a population (Brem, 2020). So also, digital technologies have greatly improved internet streaming and virtual communicating applications, causing a shift in both videoconferencing, distant learning, e-exams, e-commerce, and e-gaming, etc. (Brem, 2020).

Figure 4: Innovation in Telemedicine

Source: Zimmerling & Chen (2021)

The Figure 4 above shows the innovative working principle via digital technology in medicine – a combination of smart devices, artificial intelligence, data collection, and monitoring, as well as distant medicine. The process displays how Smart wearable healthcare operates by means of smart devices to monitor symptoms, checkmate and monitor infected individuals, as well as in contact tracing.

Flexible and Advanced Manufacturing

The pandemic considerably influenced the demand for vital products characteristic to disease prevention and treatment, such as test kits, PPEs, ventilators, oxygen, sanitizers, etc., warranting these products to be of utmost importance (Tietze et al. 2020). To mitigate this demand shift by consumers, a number of businesses and industries were pushed to switch production methodologies towards essential products, either for philanthropic purposes, health importance, lucrativeness, or governmental policies (Tietze et al. 2020). This created an organizational shift and sense of cooperation amongst diverse industries and even competitors (Zimmerling & Chen, 2021), as well as promoting 'flexible manufacturing technologies' (Brem, 2020). Flexible manufacturing practiced by firms at the peak of the pandemic allowed organizations such as Ford, GM, and Tesla to alter their automotive production itinerary in order to accommodate the production of medical ventilators. Also, various industrial and local spirit-producing businesses and organizations reformed to favor the production of isopropyl alcohol (Brem, 2020). Similarly, the adoption of advanced technologies by firms was evident in this pandemic. Advanced manufacturing systems not only have the potential to heighten the pace and quality of production but the system also reduces the amount of labor needed for production (Javaid et al. 2020).

At the peak of the pandemic, when the economic and financial impact was maximum with respect to the restrictions, 3D printing technologies were employed as an innovative means of mitigating various vital material deficiencies (Ishack & Lipner, 2020). The 3D scanning devices made available the means to project a blueprint of a personalized product instantaneously, whereas the 3D printing device provides the creation of materials promptly and available when needed by a variety of industries and establishments due to the availability of 3D technology (Javaid et al. 2020). For instance, health professionals require N95 masks for safety purposes, and as a result of high demand and restrictions, a global scarcity of the product was experienced. 3D printing firms began publishing open-sourced materials for a printable N95 respirator (Sampol, 2020); as a result of this, businesses and firms such as Ford, CoxHealth, and other higher institutes participated in producing various face shields to support health care purposes (Brem, 2020). In conclusion, the flexibility of a business and continuous adoption of new innovative technology in order to adapt to the uncertainties accompanied by a disaster was evident in this pandemic, strategies that are paramount to be adopted by future-ready business, as this would definitely become the new normal in modern businesses.

Conclusion

The current pandemic has affected most dominant world nations, and the socio-economic downfall accompanied by the crisis has been unprecedented in the recent era. The crisis has triggered a global quarantine, affecting all activities from agriculture, education, mental health, etc., drastically impacting the mortality and livelihood of individuals globally.

Panic triggered by the pandemic and the general restrictions enforced by world leaders and government at the peak of the crisis, the fallout on business has been enormous, surpassing the effect on business and workforce during the global economic crisis of 2007-2008. This fallout has led to the closure of so many of these businesses, with the majority of them failing even with the various bailout financial packages.

The effect of the pandemic and its outcome is expected to cause a paradigm shift in activities and altered the activities of businesses and individuals in a post-pandemic era, ushering in a new normal. This new normal will be spread to all sectors, including education, finance, tourism, supply chain etc and factors such as adaptation, surviving, and even globalization due to technology and industrial advancements would vastly force governments, businesses and individual to adopt approaches and changes that was never thought acceptable.

A lot of the present methodological and even technological advancements has been as a solution to an emergency; hence, most key innovations have been in response to a crisis. The present pandemic has triggered key innovative responses aiming to tackle or often mitigate the effect of the shortcomings caused by the pandemic. From innovations in the methodology of education, methodology of healthcare, methodology of manufacturing and production (flexible manufacturing) to innovations in technology (AI, smart devices, videoconferencing, etc.), these changes are coupled to be part of the novel trends that would define the future of their individual industries.

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