These times have been challenging for everyone, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are glimmers of hope to be found everywhere, and if you grab those glimmers and protect yourself against uncertainty, the future looks bright.
If you’re like us, you’ve been spending a bit of time wondering what the future might look after the COVID-19 pandemic. Is it the doom and gloom many are anticipating, or is there something to look forward to? Well, we have some good news Here are a few examples.
Personal opportunities of the coronavirus
1. We’re finding new ways to connect with people
While we’re social distancing, we’re still finding ways to spend quality time with family and friends, with a huge rise in video calling. In fact, some people are talking more than ever, and market researchers Ipsos found that 47% of Australians believe they will become closer to friends and family because of the virus.
2. We’re looking after each other
Just like Angel Next Door, people are finding innovative ways to connect with their community and look after each other. In many places you can now adopt a grandparent or healthcare worker, to make sure that our most vulnerable people are taken care of.
3. We’re uniting as a nation
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 98% of Australians have been practising social distancing. The fact that we’re seeing infection numbers plummet shows how effective we are at pulling together.
4. We’re finding new ways of working
The daily commute is a thing of the past with many more of us now finding ways to work online from home. With more hours in the day, it means a better work-life balance – something we can hopefully keep as workplaces re-open. Although already available, this boom in online opportunities might give more people the chance to enter the workforce or to access higher education.
5. We’re embracing a different lifestyle
Many people are now finding the time to return to old hobbies, such as knitting, gardening and bread making. In fact, according to Ipsos, think it’s likely they’ll learn a new skill as a result of the pandemic.
Economic opportunities of the coronavirus
1. Some industries are growing
Of course, some industries are suffering because of the virus, but others are bigger than ever. And that means more jobs. As well as the most obvious examples, like nurses and supermarket workers, there’s been a hiring rush for nannies, tutors, delivery drivers, farm workers and call centre staff.
2. Other industries are adapting
Many businesses have been rising to the challenge when it comes to dealing with the fall out of COVID-19.
With demand for a lot of products falling, the manufacturing industry could have been facing a crisis. Instead, a lot of these companies have shifted their production to essential items like ventilators. Local breweries have adapted to meet community demand and are selling hand sanitisers too.
Many restaurants and cafes have pivoted their business models towards takeaway and deliveries, while others have offered some of their raw ingredients such as eggs, milk, bread, packaged vegetables, and bottles of wine for sale.
And some industries have gone digital – yoga teachers, gym instructors and art teachers have all found ways to offer their services online.
With other industries facing similar challenges, hopefully they can all find ways to adapt and keep their businesses and our economy moving. And while these changes were made out of necessity, we may find that these new business models will become part of the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19.
3. News businesses are being created
With restrictions easing and many Aussies hitting the road and exploring the great outdoors again, there’s Empty Esky. Created in response to this year’s bushfires, this movement encourages us to stock up on local produce from fire-affected towns. Sometimes the best ideas come out of a crisis.
4. We have the chance for a fresh start
Now is the ideal time to change the things in our economy that weren’t working. Australia has been hit hard by climate change in recent years, with a rise in bushfires and flooding. With the pandemic giving a bit of welcome relief to the environment, now’s our chance to embrace new practices and rebuild the economy in a more environmentally friendly way. On a personal level, we can help by keeping some of the habits that have come from the pandemic, like video calling instead of travelling for work meetings, and making time to walk to the local shops instead of simply jumping in the car.
While the recent challenges aren’t ideal, there are lots of reasons to believe that when we get through this, we’ll be stronger. They give us the chance to recognise the things that we miss (and be thankful for them when they return). We can also take stock and choose what we want to leave behind.
And it’s a good time to realise that, with a bit of forward planning, you can take control of your future, whatever might happen. If you’re worried about you or your family’s financial security if you can’t earn an income while you’re injured or sick or pass away, consider Virgin Money Income Protection and Virgin Money Life Insurance to safeguard against uncertainty. Because you never know what’s around the corner, but you can always plan to make it better.
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