6 things we need to keep once COVID-19 lockdowns end
Online Business Models
The possibility exists that things may never truly get back to the old normal across the globe.
With countries across the world and across the region still grappling with COVID-19, trying their best to figure out how to reopen as safely as possible, as well as second waves of infection cropping up, it is hard to say when normal will - if ever - return.
Even with Barbados having low numbers of infections in comparison to the First World developed countries, the country is still working to contain COVID-19. The containment strategies, however, are causing many to adapt to new circumstances in various ways.
The crisis has highlighted an increased need for technology as a means of communicating, conducting transactions, facilitating business and more, while at the same time reducing face-to-face interactions as well as maintaining social distancing. This has given rise to far more websites and apps that allow easier and more transparent access to necessary services, platforms that have been asked for by many for numerous years.
But just as they arrived almost overnight, the worry now is that some of these services may disappear along with COVID-19 when a vaccine comes.
Here are six services that people are hoping stay even after lockdown has ended:
1. Fast Food Delivery: So many Barbadians have lamented that it took this pandemic for us to see the innovation of fast food delivery as an option, and they are right. The ease and comfort of staying home and getting some of your favourite comfort foods have truly been great and needs to stay well after this lockdown.
2. More e-commerce: The spike in the need for e-commerce as a result of the pandemic has been staggering. Many supermarkets and retailers had to desperately update their online presence to now catch up with the demand for their services with the loss of brick and mortar spaces. But if we regain some sense of the old normalcy, many believe that should retain these resources as a means to aid overall commerce in the country.
3. Working from home: Before the pandemic, few people had been fortunate enough to be afforded the ability to work from home. But for those organizations that have instituted the option since the curfew and closures, they have been much praised on several fronts. Aside from the obvious ease in travel and traffic, and reductions in operating costs, some employers are noting the positive psychological effects this new order is having on their workforces. Let's hope more companies utilize this approach where possible once lockdown is over.
4. Online License payments: Nothing is more irksome for many Barbadians than getting in line at the Licensing Authority. The service has improved over the years but it still takes a decent amount of time out of your day to go through the process of renewing licenses or getting road tax discs. Hopefully, the new services being offered from June remain a permanent fixture.
5. Zoom/Teams/Google Meetings: Now this one is touchy as many still see meetings in general as unnecessary, but the online meeting space has pushed the continued importance of teleconferencing in this day and age. We can very much hope for more companies pushing for the use of online meetings a bit more after lockdown.
6. Telemedicine (Online Medical Consultations): Finally we have to say that the ability to get online consultations from doctors for some issues saves so much time. Yes, there are clearly some issues that need you to be present for examination, but others are easily assessed online. Being able to reduce the time it takes to get your consultation and knowing how to treat an ailment going forward will save time and money for so many.