The Effects of Coronavirus Moving Forward

Pedro Martins, Staff Writer

It is not a very controversial statement to say that this decade has started off very badly. A large part is due to the current global outbreak of COVID-19 that we find ourselves in. This pandemic has stopped our society in its tracks, confining us to our homes to prevent the further spread of the virus, and in the process bringing down the economies. One aspect of this pandemic that is being overlooked by many people is the effects that it will have on our society moving forward, whether that be in terms of healthcare, the economy, or even the government. 

One of the big things that this virus has exposed is how weak our healthcare system really is. Hospitals across the country were overwhelmed with staff missing protective gear and supplies necessary to combat this virus, and many Americans being unable to receive medical help. Because of the recently exposed weakness, it is not a stretch to assume that there will be substantial change to the healthcare system to prevent something like this from ever happening again. Politico explains how this failure of the healthcare system might lead to more government involvement in healthcare moving forward. This increased involvement could lead to an overall stronger healthcare system due to the presence of a central authority that has the ability to keep standards up moving forward. Senior Alyssa Lung hopes that “More funds will be dedicated towards medicine to hopefully prevent something like this from happening again.” This funding would play a big part in assuring that hospitals will have the facilities, protective equipment, and training to be able to combat future pandemics.

Arguably the component of our society that has struggled the most in this pandemic is the economy. Due to us being confined to our homes during quarantine, countless businesses and companies have lost their source of income, countless people have lost their jobs, and entire industries such as the airline industry and cruise industry have been pushed to the breaking point. BBC explains how this pandemic might ignite some major changes to the economy to make it more humane and people–centric. This essentially means that there will be more safety nets for employees and job security in case something like this pandemic happens again. There could even be many significant changes to what working in the U.S is like, with companies like Facebook already committing to a remote working and office spaces being completely redesigned to include things like one-way hallways and glass dividers. Senior Alex Amedson explains how the government will most likely have “to bailot a lot of companies.” Government bailouts usually come with strict guidelines and standards that the companies have to follow, so these bailouts, which will be necessary for a lot of industries, could lead to more government control over the economy, especially over certain markets such as the airline industry.

To be perfectly transparent, the federal government’s response to this pandemic has been somewhat successful, but also extremely flawed. The government was much too slow to react and kept downplaying the gravity of the virus, while in the process leaving the states out to dry and fend for themselves. Later, when it became apparent that the virus was worse than was originally anticipated, the government was able to pass a bipartisan relief package, but the politicians eventually began to politicize the virus when it came to what should be the next steps taken while thousands of Americans still suffered. This weak response will increase the disillusionment that many Americans feel towards the government  and lead to lack of trust. It would not be surprising if there were to be major changes implemented in the federal government in the near future, whether that be in its structure or its role in our society. 

This COVID-19 current outbreak is arguably the biggest viral outbreak in the last 100 years, not in terms of the deadliness of the disease itself, but in terms of its impact on society. This virus has shaken our country to its very core, and will most likely cause major changes to how our society functions and operates moving forward into this new decade.