COVID-19: A positive outlook
As Covid-19 wreaks havoc around the world, claiming thousands of lives and causing an economic meltdown, we must acknowledge some of the positive ways in which we have been impacted by this seemingly disastrous health emergency.
In the past few decades, we have seen an incessant exploitation of the nature to keep up with human greed and consumption. Environmental issues such as global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer and water pollution to name a few, have been for a while, a growing concern that most citizens of the world, chose to ignore. Now, with most of the human population under some form of lockdown, our environment has started the healing process. Working from home has resulted in a sharp decline in carbon emissions due to the absence of commuting requirements. A recent study by the Climate Group states that there is a potential to reduce up to 300 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year by adopting the work from home routine. Additionally, it is estimated by the World Health Organisation that approximately 7 million lives are lost to air pollution annually, a number that is sure to reduce with the reduction in the nitrogen dioxide levels globally.
Increased family time
The cut-throat competitiveness in today’s societies has forced millennials to focus their energies on working towards achieving their career-driven goals, leading to inadequate time for connecting with their friends and family. In usual times, working couples, on an average, got 2.5 hours with one another a week. However, since the onset of this crisis, approximately 15 hours or most of the “waking hours” of such couples are spent with their family, accounting for a 500% increase in family time.
Strong focus on personal hygiene
Maintaining hygiene standards might have been considered a “good habit” until now; in the days to come, it will become an everyday practice. The WHO has issued an official advisory recommending its member states to improve hand hygiene practices by providing access to public hand hygiene stations and making their use obligatory on entering and leaving any public or private commercial building and any public transport facility and improving access to hand hygiene facilities and practices in health care facilities. Major FMCG players have also cited that they expect a considerable shift in consumer habits and preferences as a result of the ongoing crisis with a greater focus on health and wellness products.
It has rightly been said that “Startups are born from calamities” and this is one of the worst we have seen in decades. This pandemic has affected our lifestyle in more ways than we can imagine. On the innovation front, we have seen an accelerated growth in the number of solutions emerging to fight the battle against Covid-19. In response to the ongoing crisis, pioneers of the Indian startup ecosystem have come up with an INR 100 crore grant to enable ideas with immediate impact. Additionally, Facebook’s ‘Small Business Grants Program’ is offering $ 100 million in cash grants and ad credits for businesses impacted by COVID-19 in 30 countries across the globe where the tech giant operates.