The Coronavirus Pandemic: A Trigger for Change and Innovation?

The Hope Pandemic” explores the impact and opportunities relating to the Coronavirus global pandemic.

Is the Coronavirus Pandemic a Black Swan?

Is the Coronavirus outbreak a classical example of Nassim Taleb’s “Black Swan” phenomenon? It certainly fits the bill, catching us off guard, disrupting our lives and crippling the global economy.

It has shown us the fragility of humanity and thrown our institutions in a state of turmoil across all segments and sectors…business, home, healthcare, technology, retail, education, hospitality, entertainment, transportation etc.

The insidious nature of Coronavirus is its stealth…if only it was more visible like Sars or Ebola. The problem, Covid19 is largely asymptomatic, prompting those with mild symptoms to go about their lives and spread contagion.

So how are businesses responding? How are “non-essential” businesses coasting? What are the effects long-term effects of this business disruption? Is remote work stopgapping effectively? What does job security look like? Are businesses furloughing? Can they restart easily after all this blows over?

The exponential impact will unfold wave upon wave, but we should tone down the hysteria. Many of us may catch, or may already have caught, the virus. We are growing accustomed to the ideas of social distancing, self isolation, quarantine, and flattening the curve.

Clearly disruptive times have called for disruptive measures and sown the seeds of change. We now have a slew of new challenges that need paradigm shifting solutions that are more compassionate, more humane, more inclusive, more just, more sustainable and more inspired.

We may also have the perfect storm for disruptive and transformational thinking to take place. With remote work isolation in place, innovators now have the luxury of time and technology at their fingertips. They should be able to hunker down, dig deep, retrench and reimagine new solutions for a far better world.

                                                                           *******

This global human hibernation is beginning to feel a lot like a timeout, one imposed by God for our species to finally grow up. (While He nurses the planet back to health).

Confinement will force us to sit down with ourselves to finally have that good talk we were meaning to have for a long time. The one about hope, identity, purpose. It will give us time…to refocus, realign priorities, reset our moral compass and see what is important in life.

Maybe this is God’s test to see how we reach out to those who are less blessed than us. Heartwarming stories of sharing from around the world give us hope for humanity. But there will be more to come – this crisis will cripple livelihoods and push many to the brink – and God will be watching.

Maybe this timeout will enable us to see ourselves more clearly, without the ‘makeup’ of life – away from the job titles and the ego trips, the cameras and the fame, the spheres of influence and the trappings of wealth.

God’s timeout has stripped us down to our most basic human units. Pure and imperfect at once.
He definitely got our attention. Maybe the biggest gift of this virus is that we will start listening.

Sana Bagersh
Sana Bagersh is the Managing Editor of Tempo magazine. She is also the CEO of BrandMoxie which is the publisher of Tempo. Bagersh is an innovation and strategy consultant, a motivational speaker and an entrepreneurship and innovation trainer.