Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Day 18: A changing world

This article is part of The 100 Days Offensive. Go to Day 17 or Day 19.

The Corona pandemic is changing the world at a frightening pace. Even if some changes may be beneficial to us in the long term, the earthquake-like pace will create faults within our society and economy.

There are changes that seem to be entertaining at the first glance. Computer games gained some importance as replacement for real life events. When professional driver Bubba Wallace ragequit from an online race, his sponsor fired him via Twitter. The driver told, that he "doesn't take this shit seriously" and just a month ago, this would have been inconsequential. As online racing is the only racing now, he was not quick enough to adopt.

It might be that racing comes back to the old glory once the crisis is over. But it also might not be the case. Some sponsors may and will discover, that they can have cheaper events (and with much better environment rating) to reach their target group. To expect that racing will be the same after Corona may the same as expecting that all the employees will return form their Home Office.

In the last decade one could witness a lot of snubbing against the eSports from the "real sports" fraction. Even when this is all over, the pecking order will not be the same ever again.

While I would not really shed a tear for the anachronistic racing industry, it really hurts me to see the dutch to destroy 80% of the flower production. Growing flowers is not something you turn on or off with a switch. When the current situation lasts long enough to affect the infrastructure of that industry (e.g. think of bee colonies that can no longer be maintained), a rebound may take decades.

But it doesn't need to be the big things. The handshake may go out of fashion as well. Though it will not die out (some people cannot not-handshake even now), especially in younger generations other forms of greeting will take a foothold. Though there may no longer be a health risk at this time next year, the psychological shadow will still fall on us.

The same effect may spell doom to the fairs and shows. They were declining anyway, prominent shows that drew hundreds of thousands just a short time got axed. On top of that we have the lost upfront costs for 2020 season which may only partially be saved through online events. Then this industry is strongly affected by the economic climate which currently only sees the construction of storm shelters. When add the psychological impact mentioned above, I find it hard to spot any ray of hope for this industry.

Even the toilet paper industry worries. They may see record sales right now, but those go into stock not usage. If the people do not find creative uses for their stocks, those just represent a sales slump ahead.

On the positive side, the current epidemic of online learning will clearly modernize the art of teaching. The enormous influx of new ideas and people is bound to change this area forever. I think it is practically impossible not to improve the current approach.

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