[Special column]A Post-Covid-19 World

[Special column]A Post-Covid-19 World
  • X
  • Facebook
  • note
  • hatena
  • Pocket

 ビルボード誌 アジア支局長 Rob Schwartz(ロブ シュワルツ)さんがいま気になるエンターテイメントや音楽、テクノロジーに関する話題を取り上げていく本コラム。今回は特別寄稿第3弾として「A Post-Covid-19 World」をテーマにお送りいたします。(本連載は、全編英語でお届けします)

Now that we are deep into the Covid-19 pandemic, and have hopefully turned a corner worldwide to seeing the virus disappear, it's worthwhile to think about what a post-pandemic world will look like. I'll make some general observations, present some ideas about Japan, and then about the world in general.

Firstly, I should say contrary to some pundits in the West I don't feel a post-covid-19 world will be that different than before the pandemic. It's true that for some people things will be drastically changed, especially for those who lost loved ones or their livelihood, but barring those catastrophic life changes I think the world will more or less return to its previous state. This is of course both a good and bad thing. Many progressive activists are hoping this crisis will focus attention on the global environmental problems of pollution and the coming disaster of global warming. And while this may happen to a small extent, and I hope it does, I fear it will not.  I guess the powers that be will continue to ignore these looming environmental problems.

There are a few changes that I think will be long-lasting worldwide. Small businesses have suffered tremendously because of this pandemic and many have not had the resources to continue. I think most will not be able to resurrect themselves and thus we'll see less small business, especially family run businesses, in the economy. This of course is just pushing forward the economic hegemony of major multi-national corporations that can sell goods cheaper because of scale as well as benefit from online sales. Powerful retailers worldwide like Amazon, Costco, Microsoft and Apple, and in Japan Rakuten, and Yahoo! JAPAN, will tighten their grip on the market ever further. This process was already well underway in the late-stage capitalism that we live. Another possible effect of the pandemic worldwide is people forgoing travel to places they think may be health risks.

One thing that would be a radical change is from Dr. Anthony Fauci of the Centers of Disease Control in the US. He suggests that shaking hands should be dropped for good, but I doubt that will happen.

Possibly the most prominent change in post-covid-19 world might be the introduction of "health passports." These documents would be similar to vaccination cards that some (mainly African) countries demand you present before entering that specify which vaccinations you've received and when. These new "health passports" would be issued by governments and overseen by medical institutions and doctors. They might show when you tested positive or negative for the coronavirus and possibly other highly transmissible viruses. This document may or may not be adopted worldwide but I expect there will be some movement to do so from health organizations.