The COVID-19 crisis is like a dazzling lighthouse that lights up every aspect of our social and private life, revealing weaknesses and mistakes. So when the virus will finish its disruptive action, the new world will have little in common with the past one. Nothing will be like it was before.
Scientific competence and altruism – fundamental to overcome this emergency – will continue to exercise their newfound power, to the detriment of individualism and populism, promoting a change of direction at a political and financial level. The crisis could thus be an opportunity to heal some flaws of capitalism.
But how will the people react to this change of pace? Should we, for example, give up mass consumerism, move from the era of quantity to that of quality, from desires to necessity? Many psychologists around the world have said that once the pandemic will be over, everyone will want a compensation for this waiver period. But that doesn’t mean that our choices will not be influenced by what has happened.
The reason behind it is because truth has emerged as the milestone of our thoughts and actions. Before all this happened, we gave way too much importance to other people’s opinions, but those same opinions no longer count in the fight against the virus. Now all that count is facts and data. And competence. The importance recognized today to science, and to the scientific approach, will definitely fall to some degree on our personal life.
But how? For example, people will start to rely only on brands capable of supporting every aspect of their work with the utmost seriousness. And these brands will be judged. Whether it will be about human resources or about the sustainability of supplies, the consumer will take these new factors into account for his/her decision from now on. But not only that. Brands will have to prove that they are on the same level of self-denial and selflessness as those who – like doctors, nurses, supermarket cashiers, volunteers and all the front line workers – supported us in the darkest days.
And we, as consumers, must play our part too. We should not take refuge again into the exploitation of the large-scale distribution at the expense of farmers and workers in the food sector who now keep us at the cost of sacrifices. We should not go back into the bad habit of buying new clothes from fast-fashion brands just for the sake of having them because now we are aware of how a simple walk in a park can make us feel.
In a post-COVID-19 world, a fundamental requirement in consumers’ choices will not only be environmental sustainability, but also the dignity of work, its spaces and its times. We will witness the establishment of a new social structure, that must also be recognizable within companies, not only for the final customer. The philosophy of “if I can’t trust the brand, I won’t trust the product” will come into play. So, to be rewarded and appreciated will be those companies that show that they share our own new values, whose managers will expose themselves for what it’s right, as doctors and nurses are doing now, and this will be a brand new world. Game over consumerism.
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