A paragon shift to virtual operations is unavoidable with digital platforms mushrooming in sectors like healthcare, education, employment, retail etc. The COVID-19 pandemic is an astounding challenge round the globe. Unmatched in both scale and impact, it has not only taken a toll on mankind but also traumatized the global economy, destroyed uncountable job except for the ones working for the government. The entire GDP and the condition of the nation has gone back a decade which needs a proper plan of work and a smart implementation. The new norm I.e., ‘work from home’ has definitely resulted in a more convenient standard of living, necessitating with the foundational change in the future of work, workforce and workspace. The prime focus of the nation would be reinvent, reskill, up-skill and multi-skill for handling the basic structural issues of the economy and changing the employment topography where new emerging sectors like food delivery, info tech, BPOs, call centers are expected to create much versatility in employing people. One of the biggest post pandemic change in the world of business will be the enduring shift of the workforce which operates remotely which has emerged as the sole driver of the digital transformation. To pace up with the race of innovation, India’s knowledge led economy has the golden opportunity to parade its global competitiveness. The COVID-19 has not only relentlessly affected economies and communities rather pose a threat and a question to the resiliency of SCs of all the industries. Overall, SCs of the apparel, jewellery, shoes, electronics durables and IT industry are significantly affected by COVID-19 directly (Mckinsey 2020). 94% of the fortune 1000 companies are being influenced by the disruptions occurred due to COVID-19 (Fortune 2020). The data obtained by Resilinc system exhibits that the world’s largest 1000 SCs own more than 12,000 facilities in quarantine areas (Ivanov and Dolgui 2020; Linton and Vakil 2020). A report by Dun and Bradstreet (2020), a data analytics firm reveals that 51,000 companies have direct suppliers and approximately 5 million firms have tier-2 suppliers in the region Wuhan, origin of COVID-19. The threat from corona virus has transformed the traditional jobs culture and therefore, platform companies are fostering remote working, flexible working hours and delocalised work to make earning a living easier for individuals (Hoang, Blank, and Quan-Haase 2020). The social responsibilities can be well performed with flexible or limited hours of working.
(A) Research Methodology
This is a theoretically doctrinal work based on secondary data collected from books, journals, articles and online sources.
(B) Aim of the Study
- To get the advantages as well as disadvantages during and post the global pandemic.
- To learn the difference at the initial stages of COVID 19 and the way people got used to the new normal.
- To extract the beneficial changes to mankind even in the deadliest environment outside.
II. Education and economy
Most educational institutions round the globe had to shut down physical coming of students to schools or colleges in order to prevent the widespread of the deadliest virus. For one long year the students as well as teachers had to go through the unusual practise of getting familiar with the online mode of classes. While the disruption in learning caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented, important insights about its possible impact can be gained from findings of relevant existing studies and preCOVID-19 data. The adoption of new technologies and ways evolved rapidly causing various kinds of drawbacks as well as the continuity of education following the physical closure of all the educational institutions lead to a great learning loss during the lockdown. The actual knowledge one gets in a classroom teaching lacked in online mode. This debatable issue caused reduction of the syllabus by 30%. This forum of teaching also showed lack of interest and concentration. Many students, who were the victims of COVID-19 were anxious, stressed, exhausted and were unable to learn even a single alphabet. Physical school closure and the lack of in-person contact made students less externally motivated to engage in any sort of activities.
‘Conservative’ estimates for France, Italy and Germany suggest that students will suffer a weekly learning loss of between 0.82 and 2.3%of a standard deviation. Such loss reflects the reduction in test score students would be experiencing because of less time spent in learning compared to the amount of time they typically invest when they are in school. For a test which is scaled to have a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, the implied learning loss over the whole period of lockdown would mean a reduction in scores of between 6.5 and 14 points.
Same as education, while keeping in mind the deadly nature of COVID-19, the confinement methods are putting unprecedented pressure on local markets and economies. In a nutshell, unemployment is already skyrocketing, and the OECD estimates that the lockdown could result in a direct initial reduction of 20-25% of GDP in a number of OECD countries during the confinement period.  The local and regional governments are taking major actions for making the nation’s GDP back to the normal. They are helping with the sanitary response, including confinement and awareness-raising activities, delivering health care, and supporting vulnerable groups. They are also playing an important role in implementing and providing complementary responses to the national plans for unemployment insurance and income supports as well as special support packages and wage subsides, particularly to preserve SMEs and the jobs they provide.
The patterns of COVID-19 infections differ widely across the countries and markets which in turn affects the global economic outputs.
In the face of the COVID‐19 recovery, several governments have an opportunity to combine economic growth with easing pressures on ecosystems and climate by saturating in restoration. Nevertheless, saturating in environmental restoration is not cheap, and the payback time is very undetermined. For example, the official price tag is currently estimated at US$43 billion for the eventual decommissioning and reclamation of all oil and gas infrastructure in Alberta (Alberta Energy Regulator 2018). The extensive cost of restoration can raise serious concerns about funding as the global economy faces its largest shrinkage. However, many studies have demonstrated that natural capital, and the ecological services derived from it, have significant and measurable economic value. For example, watershed restoration (in the state of Oregon) can provide economic and social benefits, and save the US$6–8 billion that would have been required for a new water filtration plan (Kellon & Hesselgrave 2014). Indeed, the economic benefits that flow from restoration can be several times higher than the costs, as nature provides ecosystem services (like erosion control, water filtration, and carbon mitigation) at a lower price than anthropogenic solutions (Waldron et al. 2020).
By investing in new economic strategies that take into account natural capital, governments can shift unsustainable land uses toward healthy and pliable landscapes. There is a strong economic rationale for making this shift, as studies show evidence that the nature conservation sector drives up the economic growth, delivers major key non‐monetary benefits and is a huge net contributor to a pliable global economy (Waldron et al. 2020). For example, the European Green Deal is a massive and ambitious (US$1.1 trillion) decade‐long investment to reach a well-heeled society, with a resource‐efficient and ruthless economy, including biodiversity to protect and conserve natural capital (European Commission 2020). The action plan includes the restoration of devalued forests to increase carbon blockade while improving the resilience of forests. The government of Canada has also recently announced an investment of US$1.75 billion to clean up orphan wells in western Canada with concurrent intentions to keep people working during the COVID‐19 pandemic while helping oil and gas companies reduce their environmental liabilities.
III. Health and public lives:
- Bringing People Together but Keeping Them Apart:
Almost the entire urban planning in now focused on the ways to manage our lives out of the spread and transmissions of the recent infectious disease. COVID-19 and the conditions of post pandemic environment hereby stand as challenges to urbanization yet again. The debates and discussions have found their existences in the question of “which city model is preferable?”
As believed and observed earlier, densely populated and hyper-connected cities are more efficient and sustainable, they pose as a threat to amplify the spread and transmission of the disease. Likewise, community involvement is essential as it allows for the acquisition of local knowledge while ensuring public compliance with policy decisions.
- Adapting Urban Environments to New Necessities:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent it’s outspread, urban facilities like transportation, shops, malls, etc. as well as public spaces need to adopt all safety measures ensuring the minimal distance among people for less physical contact and rapid transmission of disease.
Staying indoors and confining social, physical and professional lives to houses is more preferable and the same needs rigorous implementation. Proper disinfection and cleaning of the physical surrounding is a must and should be done at regular intervals. Adding to these, protective equipment like masks, gloves, sanitizers, etc. must be used to avoid any risk of transmission of the infection.
- Adjusting Everyday Life to the “New Normal”:
While the pandemic is and has been affecting almost every aspect of the human life, for the moment, going back to old habits may not be possible as well as safe. Accepting the new normal is even more important. Local, inter-state and international mobility has to be controlled and monitored. Flows and frequencies of the virus at particular cities and localities need to be analyzed and focused on. Everything which was normal a few months back has to undergo drastic changes and renovations not only for the new rules and regulations but also for the safety and security of public and individual life.
Thus, the entire pandemic can be quoted as ‘Physically Apart but More Connected than Ever’ while the urban spaces are getting affected by the new normal and the drastic shift from social interactions (outdoor) to more confined (indoors) livelihood, technology has come in as a savior and facilitator.
Even also being physically apart, people got more time to get in touch with their near and dear ones by online mode and also by staying indoors and spending some time with them. It is often found that the senior citizens feel lonely inside out for the lack of availability of their family members but this COVID 19 has made the bonds even stronger than ever by confining everyone into a house allowing to spend some good old time with families.
However, getting essential commodities for daily survival to getting fashionable clothes for festivals and occasions throughout the year, the online mode of shopping has played a vital role may it be clothes or grocery shopping. Physical shopping has been replaced by safe and untouched online shopping which provides at door deliveries, telemedicine, E-events, applications for tracing corona positive patients and application to guide human life and lifestyle, E-entertainment and E-education have now become the best possible alternatives to facilitate the human life and it’s aspects without any significant stoppage along with maintaining the norm of new normal and safety of lives. Movie halls were shut down making way for the Over The Top (OTT) platforms to grow and get explored more. Apart from all these, one of the foremost benefits the earth got from COVID 19 pandemic was gaining back at least the minimal amount of greenery back. As per the shutdowns and lockdowns people were not allowed to move around in the country in spite of any emergency, which helped the Earth heal from global warming and uncontrollable pollution.
As the pandemic continues, people are getting more and more accustomed to technology. There are people working from home in the IT and educational sector. This makes digital platforms introduce an archetype shift. As the social, physical and professional lives of people have undergone a dramatic change, acceptance of the new norms and some more renovations are too needed in the health industry.
Some of the beneficial changes are:-
- Digital consultations which minimize the crowding in healthcare industry by tele/video consultations with the doctor while being within the safe boundaries of social distancing.
- AI powered consultation is a blend of human understanding and artificial intelligence supported by voice services to help in filtering patients according to their types and answering the queries easily and with a speed.
- Easier data management is one more product of digitization which enhances automatic data storage about a patient’s medical history which can be accessed at any point of time conveniently.
The global epidemic has been a serious matter of concern for people of every corner and every sector round the globe. Apart from all such drawbacks, this pandemic has also been a period of learning and exploring own self. Coping with the measures, getting attached to the family taking a break from the daily life chores and making the best utilization of the time and taking the nation towards a digital India are one of the successful outcomes of COVID-19. Successful implementation of the ‘self reliance’ or ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Ache Din’ or ‘Good Days’ has been one of such projects which is not only a stepping stone towards development but also leads to self dependent India, cashless transactions and a forum to the needy people for regaining confidence and earning a living. However, the economy and employment of the country did affect the country’s GDP but, with having the second largest populous nation, India would soon recover its losses soon. With the emerging new difficulties, the area and platform of employing people has also been versatile within the lockdown by the highly development of online apps of grocery shopping, outfits shopping, OTT platforms, E-education, online marketing and trading. However, with the shutting down of schools, colleges and all educational institutions along with movie halls and shopping malls, the online entities of Google Meet, Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, and all sorts of OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Voot Select respectively got promoted to the fullest increasing its perimeter of users and subscribers. The door step delivery of all the essential commodities from sites like Jio Mart has been life saving, indeed, considering the delivery agent and the ones preparing the orders as the frontline workers. Heading towards education and public health, the centre as well as state governments have been trying to reduce the burden of pressure to the students by reducing the syllabus and directing the institutions to adopt easier and flexible ways of teaching as well as evaluating papers. However, not a soul can substitute the actual classroom teaching with the online mode of class, since the one to one interaction of teachers and students is the first and foremost step of a student to gain success. While preventing the spread of the pandemic, proper care and maintenance of the places are also a matter of concern. Proper sanitation of public places like shopping malls, offices etc are still been done at utmost care. Now, the situation is at ease a bit, but still there are still some states and countries who are suffering with the new, second and even the more deadly wave of COVID 19. In a matter of two years, the world faced a standstill which was never experienced by any human of any generation.
 The likely impact of COVID-19 on education: Reflections based on the existing literature and recent international datasets, JRC Technical Report
 OECD (2020), Evaluating the initial impact of COVID-19 containment measures on economic activity.
 OECD (2020) Territorial impact of COVID-19: managing the crisis across levels of government; OECD (2020) Cities policy responses
 OECD (2020), Supporting people and companies to deal with the COVID-19 virus: Options for an immediate employment and social policy response
 OECD(2020), SME policy responses