Before and After COVID-19: The New Normal
The COVID-19 crisis has ground much of society as we know it to a halt. That begs the question: Will what is “normal” change after COVID-19? Anyone who flew on an airplane before 9/11, for instance, knows how different that experience became. What might change now?
Pandemics are relatively rare. COVID-19 is the first serious pandemic the world has faced in modern times. What are some things that might change moving forward in the future? Most of this is speculative, but more likely than not some or all of them could occur:
· There will be travel watchlists for biological contaminants including illness at airports and seaports.
· Economic recession. This one should come as no surprise because we are practically already in the middle of one and COVID-19 isn’t even over yet.
· Politically speaking, scientists and physicians are likely to be more involved with policymaking, a least for the foreseeable future.
· The storage of basic medical supplies, including face masks and gloves, will likely become a very commonplace thing, especially given the shortages the world has seen recently.
· Businesses and insurance companies are going to come up with ways to mitigate potential risks that could stem from pandemics in the future.
Other events could occur as well that would change the general landscape moving forward. Many companies, particularly airlines and cruise ship companies, are on the brink of collapse unless they receive government bailouts. Companies like Ford, with less income, may experience a change in their credit rating which would then trigger clauses that require them to pay back loans, which could put them deep in the red at the very least.
Things might change dramatically across the world in very obvious ways. Likewise, things may not really change that much at all. Time will tell either way. What we know right now is that individuals, businesses, and politicians can’t afford to be caught off guard in the future like they were this time. The economy fell into a deep hole, and unfortunately, it was very likely avoidable. In the future, people will be better prepared if for no other reason than the fact that they have already seen what happens in this type of situation and know what to do (and what not to do).
For insurance companies, helping their clients deal with temporary closures and significantly reduced revenues is another aspect of the problem. For one thing, proposals attempting to revise contracts and somehow compel insurers to pay for excluded losses are at best offering a false hope and, more likely, misleading businesses who are already struggling. Those businesses need real solutions, not smoke and mirrors.
The crisis is unprecedented, at least in modern times. Only the federal government is capable of providing the type of financial assistance required to weather the storm. To that end, insurers and professionals in the industry are working closely with businesses on proposals for assistance from the federal government. The fund which has been proposed would likely be open to any business that saw adverse effects stemming from the pandemic and not limited to only the minority of businesses who bought businesses interruption coverage. Additionally, the industry is working with customers who are in financial need by way of moratoriums on cancellations and nonrenewals, grace periods, and similar assistance.