Corona Virus: What Happens Next?


Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield, Co-Editor-in-Chief

While some may be tired of hearing what could very justifiably be labeled as depressing news, this pandemic is currently the center of life at the moment. As someone that likes to think about the future, and as a self proclaimed optimist I can’t help but wonder what life will be like following this pandemic. This isn’t going to last forever, and there will definitely be some aftershock following the pandemic. Coronavirus has put us through physical, emotional, economic and social hardship. This pandemic is not something that only has an affect on those that contract it- it has touched each and everyone of our lives. Not necessarily in a good way either. So what comes after this?

Economically speaking, the amount of people that have lost their jobs and have had to file for unemployment is mind boggling. 22 million Americans in the last four weeks. Initially hitting only service jobs the hardest, the virus has forced many white collar companies and professionals to lay off workers. CNN Business reports that “As shutdowns continue, job losses will likely extend into other areas of the labor market, such as business and professional services where firms may begin to see lower revenues from a second order pull back in demand,” Robard Williams, a senior vice president for Moody’s Investors Service note.

Some economists believe this phase of joblessness is only temporary, but the economic turmoil that many families have had to deal with certainly is not. As someone who watches the news everyday, it is heartbreaking to see how many families say that they have no other option but to ask for handouts from food banks, the line of cars stretching for miles of people that have no other way is shocking. The foreign policy states: “It will only accelerate a change that had already begun: a move away from U.S.-centric globalization to a more China-centric globalization… Companies will now rethink and shrink the multistep, multi country supply chains that dominate production today.” According to Forbes, every sector of the American economy is shrinking. 

Politically speaking Stephen M. Walt believes that “The pandemic will strengthen the state and reinforce nationalism. Governments of all types will adopt emergency measures to manage the crisis, and many will be loath to relinquish these new powers when the crisis is over.COVID-19 will also accelerate the shift in power and influence from West to East. South Korea and Singapore have responded best, and China has reacted well after its early mistakes. The response in Europe and America has been slow and haphazard by comparison, further tarnishing the aura of the Western “brand.”What won’t change is the fundamentally conflictive nature of world politics.” Some even go as far to claim that the United States will no longer be seen as an international leader. 

Now imagine all the people that have died without getting to say goodbye to their family members. To #stopthespread, people have not been allowed to hold large funeral gatherings, to be with their family members in their last moments, to really have closure. Mental health and coping with the anxiety of the situation proves to be a real challenge for some, and death does no good to help that at all. Emerging out of this pandemic many predict a mental health pandemic to follow. 

Another side of the coin is all the people that are isolated who may be suffering from depression. Staying home for many of us without these conditions might just mean that we are bored and can’t find something to do, but for them it is truly a question of life or death. There are also children, women and men that are forced to stay in abusive households as domestic violence and child abuse hsa been on the rise since this stay at home order. Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

On the social aspect every aspect of the entertainment industry is currently on pause. Our approach to music, to television and movies have experienced a change as a result of the pandemic and will likely continue afterwards. Buzzfeed quotes: “More interesting are the kinds of entertainment that are flourishing right now. Movies like Sonic the Hedgehog, DC’s Birds of Prey, and the Ben Affleck sports drama The Way Back are all getting early releases on video-on-demand platforms. Streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are seeing huge audience spikes.

Musicians Sufjan Stevens and Dua Lipa have dropped albums during the quarantine. Many more artists are livestreaming regular concerts for bored fans, trapped at home.In the short span of a little less than two months, pop culture has changed shape. No longer well lit and sleekly produced, the content we want now resembles the videos on the one app that has fared better than any other during this crisis — the short-form video app TikTok. The platform, owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech company, has long been central to China’s soft power, and it’s now the defining app of this era. It’s become a near-infinite repository of COVID-19 content, including memes from self-isolated teenagers, handwashing dance challenges, and doctors and nurses using it to share outbreak updates.But what’s happening to our entertainment is only reflecting what is happening to the way society works now: We have moved online, and it is hard to imagine going back.

Most of this doesn’t sound like good news, but it’s a well known saying that it always gets worse before it gets better. From economics to politics to social and emotional health to entertainment, this pandemic has changed the world forever. How we chose to come out of it is unknown, but I hope there is a rainbow waiting  on the other side.