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People's Choice winner: 'What's my vision for the world after coronavirus?'

COVID-19 puts us at a crossroads; a downward spiral on one path, a chance at a better future on the other. Bolu Adewumi's essay won the People's Choice prize in our Visions of a World After COVID-19 competition, voted for by members of the public.

Bolu Adewumi
5 August 2020
Artwork courtesy of David S. Goodsell and the RCSB PDB, CC-BY-4.0

Well first of all, we’ll have a term for life before Covid-19 ;for example, ‘B.C.’ (meaning before Coronavirus) however that is too similar to ‘BCE’ (before common era) so, we’ll have to settle for Pre Covid-19 (PC) but that also sounds like ‘personal computer’. Whatever we decide to call that era, I strongly believe that our lives will never return to the ‘normal’ that we so dearly wish it would go back to. After Coronavirus (or should I say AC) will be the new normal and we must deal with it.

Even this is a huge assumption that there will be an end to this virus. I’m sure that most of us hope that there will be a time after Covid-19, however we must consider that this realistically may not happen. This virus may have to be a new member of our society that we must live along side and control, so it doesn’t erupt into a Pandemic Part 2. I presume this due to the lack of care that we have for each other. I do not see the world being greater after Covid-19 because the world reeks of selfishness.

We all have a part to play in overcoming this pandemic, for example; by social distancing, supporting healthcare workers, testing for vaccines (by scientists of course) and encouraging intelligent minds to design creative solutions to new found problems during this time. Nonetheless, many people do not truly understand how valuable it would be for us, not just as a nation but as one world, to come together and uphold each other during this crisis. If we, as citizens of the world, do not realise and implement this into our day to day lives, then I truly believe that the virus is here for the long haul.

The shops are opening, people are finally getting the haircuts that they so desperately want and members of the public are going out whilst forgetting that a global pandemic is still happening. Ignorance may be bliss but ignorance is also one of the reasons why so many are falling victims to this virus. Ignorance will prevent our world from improving and without improvement, the future looks very dull.

Additionally, many people can’t afford to stay at home without work and still have a roof over their heads and food on the table. The Government have made empty promises about how they’ll aid those who need extra support. Where is this money coming from? Before Coronavirus, I’d hear the phrase ‘budget cuts’ left and right with funding for healthcare and schools decreasing, so how come we have enough money to not only fund for the new hospitals needed, but also to help the less fortunate? This is not adding up because the Government keep making empty promises.

There have been empty promises made in the past, in the present and there probably will be in the future from the Government to the people. I see the future as being an empty promise. There’ll be a record high of people in debt, unemployment rates will be through the roof and I don’t think those in power know how to prevent this. This is why we can’t solely rely on the Government to beat the Coronavirus and to improve society. It hasn’t worked in the past so why would it work in the future? As members of the public, we must communicate and share our ideas. We are a team competing in the same race called life and there’s no ‘I’ in team. So, let’s help each other out in order to make the journey smoother.

My GCSE exams may have been cancelled this summer, due to Covid-19, but I’d like to quote a phrase from the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B Priestley, which is a text that I would have been tested on, had the virus not struck.

‘We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.’

I think that this quotation is as relevant as it was in 1945 (when the play was written) as it is now. The only way that we will see a bright future after Coronavirus is if we, as citizens of the world, work together. A world without selfishness would be a world that flourishes. You can make a difference. Any contribution, no matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’, would make a significant impact towards a better future. Time is precious, therefore, any time spent giving aid to others is priceless. Even if it’s just social distancing or donating some spare change to those in need, you can save so many lives from becoming the next prey to invisible predators such as Covid-19 and empty promises. I acknowledge that everyone has different needs however, we can all do our best to soften the negative effects that Coronavirus has caused.

Overall, if we continue down this road of greed and lack of care for others, I see the future as a downwards spiral overflowing with selfishness. On the other hand, if we do our part and work together towards improving society, then we will see a world after Coronavirus; and it will be better than it has ever been before.

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