The current epidemiological shock and probably subsequent upheavals will have long-term consequences for the planet. The coronavirus pandemic is compelling humanity to fight a common enemy. Communities that have survived wars are becoming more united. Now people have fully realised that only consolidation and collective efforts can bring success in this war, writes Djoomart Otorbaev, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014–2015
It is believed that practically half of the 7.8 billion people in the world are in various forms of self-isolation while the majority of countries are trying to block or at least reduce the spread of the coronavirus infection. Freedom of movement is strictly limited: companies are closed, shops and streets are empty and the hospitality industry is at a standstill. Hotels, restaurants and transport are not functioning and the borders are closed. People stay at home and communicate with the world via their smartphones.
Meanwhile, there has been an explosion in the growth of virtual digital technology. Contactless instruments and technology, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), educational digital technology, robots, the image recognition system, virtual working spaces and online meetings have been given a tremendous boost to their development. Obviously, when the crisis is over and the contactless revolution is accomplished the world around us will be completely different. Humanity might get rid of such fetishes as the working day much faster than expected. The changes that many countries are introducing “temporarily” to save human lives are drastically changing the standards with which people will live in the future. Many new standards are likely to stay with us forever. Many rules and habits that we are viewing as temporary anti-crisis measures will be accepted for good while interim institutions will stay with us forever.
Most modern psychologists agree that a change of established habits is a fairly difficult process because many habits continue helping us reach our goals both in our personal lives and at work. It is particularly hard to change the most important habits because the majority of people often try to do this with the use of willpower and this is not the most effective way of changing habits. Psychologists maintain that it is especially difficult to start the habit-changing process.