Marching into tomorrow
You don't need anybody to tell you that COVID-19 changed the world. With more than 800,000 deaths, 25 million cases, countless lives affected and entire economies threatened, it may be the single most world-changing event of our times.
What's more interesting is how the pandemic changed the world – and how out of this dreadful affliction, humankind has applied the ingenuity and adaptability that has carried us for millions of years to consider a very different, but in some ways perhaps better, future.
Resetting the world and its economy may finally prompt our species into the ecological measures we need to save our planet. Retail can change profoundly, embracing online sales while retaining the personal touch – who knew that a pandemic could reintroduce the humble door-to-door milk round?
The worlds of hospitality and leisure have adapted to the needs of a new normal, while our ever-present thirst for technological improvement promises new advances around the corner. And perhaps most notably, absence has made the heart grow fonder: the pandemic prompted new efforts to maintain community links, from hobbies to charity.
The present is difficult, but the future isn't bleak. Our species has survived for tens of thousands of generations, and it isn't going to give up now. Instead we march on together into a different and definitely challenging but ultimately character-building tomorrow.