On 11 March 2020 - three months after the first human coronavirus cases were identified in Wuhan, China - the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 had become a global pandemic.
As of September 2023, there have been over
Let’s start with a positive. The global education technology market is expected to be worth a whopping
Following the return to classrooms, technology has been actively integrated into lesson plans, and education facilities continue to adopt digital teaching methods because using technology for learning has many potential
- Improves engagement
- Makes collaboration easier
- Offers flexibility
- Increases productivity
- Encourages creativity
- Prepares students for future
- Enables automation
- Promotes inclusion
Primary, secondary, and tertiary schools were forced to close in 2020 in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus during the first wave. Shutdowns soon affected nearly
These closures had adverse effects on students and are predicted to have substantial long-term implications for education and earnings. An
The report indicated that the pandemic had badly impacted children with special educational needs.
Within a few months of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning, extreme poverty went up by
In October 2020,
\Research found that the pandemic disproportionately impacted low-income countries, with
High-income countries such as the UK, Australia, and Switzerland had the means to intervene early to protect people and businesses. However, low- and middle-income countries were unable to do the same.
Figures estimate that the UK’s government Covid support measures totaled
During the pandemic, many nations restricted local, national, and international travel, which resulted in positive climate news when global energy-related CO2 emissions fell by
However, this historical decline was a short-term positive of lockdown restrictions, not a sustained change. In 2021, the global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion rebounded by
Research shows that global carbon dioxide emissions are still rising but may at least reach level ground, with CO2 from energy only increasing by 0.9% in 2022 despite the turmoil in energy markets caused by the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Unfortunately, though, a
The UK entered a six-month recession in 2020. The economy plunged by
However, as businesses and consumers adapted to restrictions, the second and third wave in autumn 2020 and winter 2020/21, respectively, did not lead to as much of a decline in economic activity.
At the time, the ONS said: “This is the largest quarterly contraction in the UK economy since ONS quarterly records began in 1955, and reflects the ongoing public health restrictions and forms of voluntary social distancing that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
In 2023, the UK’s economy grew by
Social media engagement increased by
Firstly, social media platform TikTok can thank the pandemic for its success. Despite launching in 2016, it was the
TikTok’s growth was beaten by video chat platform Zoom - which was used across the globe for parties, quizzes, and business meetings - and streaming service Peacock.
Social media messaging platform Whatsapp and multiple delivery services, including DoorDash and Instacart, were also among the brands to see significant growth in 2020 due to people staying at home.
Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp was the social media app experiencing the greatest gains, with a
The UK’s first national lockdown, which saw most businesses close their doors, started in March 2020 and lasted over three months.
Similar restrictions took place worldwide, resulting in the loss of equivalent to
These working-hour losses in 2020 were approximately four times greater than those during the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, referred to as ‘The Great Recession.’
The pandemic also welcomed a
Following the end of pandemic restrictions, these numbers have gradually decreased but remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. In September 2022, 22% of the Great Britain workforce had worked at least one day from home in the previous week, and 13% worked from home exclusively.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation, also known as The Great Reshuffle, is an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs simultaneously, beginning in early 2021 during the pandemic.
Most likely to quit have been hospitality, healthcare, and education workers. The most mentioned reasons for resigning include:
- Wage stagnation despite rising living costs
- Limited opportunities for career advancement
- Hostile work environments
- Lack of benefits
- Inflexible hybrid and remote working policies
- Job dissatisfaction
However, workforce participation in some regions, including the USA, has returned to or even exceeded the pre-pandemic rate, which suggests that instead of remaining out of the workforce, many workers have been simply swapping jobs - which is why it’s also known as The Great Reshuffle.
Anthony Klotz, a
The five industries most affected by COVID-19 between 2 January 2020 and 15 January 2022 were Airlines, Automobiles, Energy Equipment and Services, Hotels, Restaurants and Leisure, and Specialty Retail.
The five industries least impacted were Communications Equipment, Health Care Equipment and Supplies, Life Science Tools and Services, Pharmaceuticals, and Real Estate Investment Trusts.
Meanwhile, the number of UK start-ups grew by
On 17 March 2020, then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that British nationals were advised against non-essential foreign travel for 30 days, which was later extended indefinitely. \
However, against all expectations, most of the travel companies trading in 2019 survived the pandemic, and the aviation industry became profitable in 2023 for the first time since before the pandemic.
On another positive note, the pandemic gave authorities time to reconsider the value of mass tourism and introduce measures to stop overtourism. In 2024, Venice will introduce a long-threatened
Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s city hall
Some destinations, however, can’t wait to welcome tourists back, with Siem Reap in Cambodia spending
Business travel on airlines is still below pre-pandemic levels and is predicted not to recover.
Loneliness, fear of infection, grief of a loved one, financial issues, and the unknowns of the economy are all factors that affected people’s mental health throughout the pandemic when government restrictions stopped them from seeing their family and friends or going to work.
The worldwide prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by
However, this must be accompanied by a worldwide investment in mental health services. In 2020, governments across the globe only spent just over 2% of their overall health budgets on mental health.
By the end of 2021, the situation had somewhat improved, but too many people still remain unable to get the care and support they need for pre-existing and newly developed mental health conditions.
Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at
Health care burnout
In the early days of the pandemic, healthcare employees were praised as heroes and honored with military flyovers, fire department drive-bys, meal donations, and colorful signs expressing thanks.
However, the recognition, whilst appreciated, didn’t fix the burnout. In October 2021, a survey by the Royal College of Nursing showed that
Amazingly, the COVID-19 vaccine development took 11 months, humbling the five-year record for the mumps vaccine. The work previously done with mRNA vaccines was a significant factor in the timely development.
This led to advancements across multiple scientific fronts, which means developers and researchers are in a much better position to develop vaccines rapidly and respond better to future epidemics and pandemics.
Paul Goepfert, MD, director of the
Despite the noticeable detrimental effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the economy, poverty, and the workforce, it is also important to remember the positives. The pandemic resulted in much-needed medical advancements, the rise of beneficial education technology, and the fixing of over-tourism.
As our society continues to adapt to changes, we must remember how far we have come since March 2020 and be glad we made it through the first pandemic of the 21st century.