COVID-19 NEW NORMAL: THE MOTHER OF ALL CHANGES IS HERE!
By Olufemi Orunsola
Necessity they say, is the mother of all inventions. Human history bears ample testimony to the fact that in our world, change is the only thing that is constant.
Little wonder therefore that virtually all major advances and significant changes in the social structure, systemic formations and functional operational mode of human human society have all been birthed in the labour room of either evolutionary or revolutionary necessity.
As the whole wide world trembles, coils in and shivers in the cold pneumonic hands of the ravaging COVID-19, one thing that seem to silently echo to the discerning human minds is the fact that given the magnitude of structural disruption the pandemic has caused and may still occasion, the society of man may never really be the same after the current waves of partial and or total lock down of entire states, countries and continents with attendant socioeconomic multiplier effects.
No doubt, mankind has seen several landmark changes from the stone age, medieval ages, to the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, the World War 1, World War 2 as well as the dawn of the computer age with major milestones of millennial advancements in mobile telephony and the Global System for Mobile Telecommunications which peaked in the fourth Generation (4G) network.
However, the clear hand writing on the wall at this auspicious and critical time in the history of humanity is that the mother of all changes is already here with us! – the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution.
Of course, the impact of Information Communication Technology(ICT) on different critical sectors of human life within the last two decades can be aptly described as quite pervasive but the coming paradigm shift into Internet of Things promises to be much more pervasive and massive!
For the records, internet of Things encapsulate the culmination of ICT into Artificial Intelligence(AI), Drones Technology, Robotics, Biometrics, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality as well as the fiscal driver of them all – the Block chain Technology that powers digital currency also known as crypto currency.
More than ever before, the functional structure of the world in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era tilts more towards the predominance of Internet of Things.
The golden era where education, banking and finance, health, commerce, Agriculture as well as Religion and other critical sectors of society takes a quantum leap of integrative migration to the realm of internet of internet of things is the future and that future is already visibly here!
In the same vein that the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s and early 1800s started in Britain and spread like wild fires to the rest of the world, the Internet of Things Revolution is bound to run its global course in the post COVID-19 era.
For the records, the Industrial Revolution was a period of major industrialization and innovation. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and quickly spread throughout the world.
The Industrial Revolution led to inventions such as the telephone, the sewing machine, X-ray, lightbulb, and the combustible engine with massive proliferation of mechanized factories.
Similarly, the American version of the Industrial Revolution commonly referred to as the second Industrial Revolution which started sometime between 1820 and 1870 saw the mechanization of agriculture and textile manufacturing as well as a revolution in power, including steamships and railroads, that affected social, cultural, and economic conditions.
Although the Industrial Revolution took place about two centuries (200 years) ago, it is a period that left its profound impact on how people live and the way businesses operated till date. Arguably, the factory systems developed during the Industrial Revolution are responsible for the creation of capitalism and the modern cities of today.
History is an expert at repeating itself.
To this effect, Tech savvy individuals, corporate bodies and countries all over the world are already aligning and making frantic efforts to position themselves appropriately for the mother of all changes in the annals of human history – Internet of Things!
Unfortunately, many African countries like Nigeria, are yet to fully discern the hand writing on the wall enough as to swing into swift actions of making quick fixes in the walls of their structural, infrastructural and systemic deficiencies already exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such deficiencies, cutting across some spheres of societal life, especially the core critical sectors such as health, education, information management and functional data base system, banking as well as food security and the security architecture of the society deserve to be given urgent attention.
No doubt, the socioeconomic impact of the protracted lock down arising from the need to slow down the spread of the virus is quite humongous and threatens to be over whelming if not properly handled.
Beyond the current waves of COVID-19 realities such as well speedy accurate testing, distribution of palliatives, physical distancing and other measures put in place to slow down the curve of the pandemic, it is pertinent to prepare for the massive changes in the structure and formation of the society in the post COVID-19 era.
If all we do at this point in time is just to surface scratch around the COVID-19 realities but fail to plan ahead, deploying our huge human and material resources towards the long term sustainable migration of our critical sectors such as education, health, media and entertainment, information management and national data base as well as preparation of the ground for a society where there is food security, the results of our inactions and actions can only be cataclysmic!
Posterity may not find a place to forgive us all,(both leaders and the led) if we fail to take stock and take advantage of this season of life, to at least, for just once in a life time, take responsibility for our collective existence on earth as a country and resolve to harness our rich natural, mineral and human resources towards making Nigeria truly great again.
After all, we all asked for change and sought to take the country to the next level.
Right now, providence and mother nature have smiled on us, (though in disguise), now that the mother of all changes is here with us! The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed come as a curtain raiser, the herald and sure harbinger of the inevitable global paradigm shift to the era of Internet of Things(IoT) and Internet of Everywhere!
The new normal global values to drive the way we live, interact with others and go about doing businesses is pivoted on a paradigm shift towards Internet of Things with massive deployment of Robotics, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Drones Technology, Biometrics and Block Chain Technology.
We are left with only two fundamental options namely: to embrace change, brace up to the disruptive realities of the times and find our rightful place in the new scheme of global affairs or, to resist change and get further left behind in the new global system.
Olufemi Orunsola(SWGN), a Creative Artiste, Practical Scholar & Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator Writes from Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.