At the beginning of August 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news. Despite precautions including social distancing and mandated quarantines, many countries and regions are experiencing flare-ups of new cases, leading to additional lockdowns and travel restrictions. In a hyper-connected world, a virus outbreak was the threat to in-person connectivity anticipated by few. It appears, heading into the Fall, that restrictions are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, and the “New New Normal” becomes reality.
With the continuing restrictions on travel and tourism, people will be far less mobile than in the past, while the flow of goods may be able to resume to the extent that additional trade restrictions and sanctions do not create undue hurdles. The economic impact of the pandemic is making economies far more reliant on local or nearby production; cities are becoming dispersed as commuters and workers increasingly decamp to suburbs and work from anywhere; entertainment, sports and other diversions are on extended pause; and there’s a refactoring of education as schools wrestle with whether to remain online only, resume in-person instruction or innovate hybrid models.
Keep an eye out for emerging opportunities to catalyze positive changes ahead, and remember that today’s unique challenges shall pass.
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