The most basic everyday activities, from working to shopping and going to school, have completely changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and may never be the same again.
As it’s been nearly two years since China announced its first death from COVID-19 – a 61-year-old man in Wuhan – on January 11, 2020, here’s a look at how it fundamentally changed our lives has gone. ,
As the virus spread around the world, governments ordered citizens to stay inside – forcing billions to set up home offices in a hurry.
Remote working, working from home (WFH) all quickly became a staple in our new pandemic vernacular.
Even as the lockdown is eased, working from home at least for some time remains the norm for many.
In 2021, the percentage of people working remotely increased from just 17 percent in 2019 to 32 percent, according to consulting firm Gartner.
For others, the pandemic prompted demand for changes in jobs or better conditions.
In the United States, thousands of workers from hospitals to Hollywood quit last year in a movement called “Striketober” to protest long hours and poor pay.
With billions of homes closed, businesses of all kinds had to rapidly pivot, and online sales of everything from groceries to food, clothing, and furniture boomed.
According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, online sales grew 38 percent in the first third of 2021 compared to the same period a year ago.
Gail Le Floch of consulting firm Kantar told AFP it also brought some shoppers online for the first time, who are not likely to leave soon.
“We saw new customers, more senior citizens, who became regular buyers,” she said.
Planes, trains and… bicycles
Amid border closures and travel restrictions, the pandemic hit the tourism sector.
Experts have warned that the air and rail industries may not return to normal before 2024.
Air travel was the worst hit in 2020, with worldwide traffic down by two-thirds.
By the end of 2021, it had reached only half of 2019 levels as travel restrictions were in place in many countries.
Even as travel after the initial lockdown, chaos at airports remains the norm as passengers line up to show vaccine passes or negative Covid tests.
Cities around the world also saw a decline in public transport such as trains and more people staying home as fears of the virus spread.
Cycling grew in popularity – but so did commuting by car.
As adults stayed home to work, so did students, millions of children and teens suddenly logged onto Zoom and other platforms for online classes.
The United Nations’ culture and education authority UNESCO has described the pandemic as the worst education crisis ever.
School systems in most countries had at least some periods of complete closure.
Its worst effects have been in low- and middle-income countries, where 53 percent of children already lack schooling.
According to the World Bank, this ratio can increase to 70 percent.
In some parts of the world – including Brazil, Pakistan, India, South Africa and Mexico – significant declines in math and reading skills have been reported.
hunger and health
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the pandemic has caused the biggest increase in hunger worldwide in 15 years.
The agency said the number of people who do not have enough to eat has increased by 18 percent from the previous year.
According to the UN agency OCHA, the problem extended beyond access to food, as an additional 20 million people fell into extreme poverty in 2021.
The pandemic also thrown health systems into chaos and slowed progress on campaigns to eradicate other diseases ravaging the world’s poorest populations, such as HIV and tuberculosis.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)