My World: June 2021…
This is part of a series of articles where our contributors describe how they think things will look a year from now.
Our health system is already becoming more digital, and some aspects will be increasingly devolved
The impact of covid-19 has been to transform our working lives and will enable many organisations to rethink the way they go about things. My own company’s disaster recovery and remote working plan moved seamlessly into place a week before the official lockdown. We have all become reasonably proficient at FaceTime, Zoom, Slack and remote communication in general. This has led us to question the old ways of working, with so many face-to-face meetings, lengthy travel and the routine of office life.
However, over time people will increasingly miss the social contact that our old ways involved, especially once fear
of the disease lessens – as testing, new social distancing techniques and treatments or a vaccine are put in place.
In the healthcare sector we have seen a revolutionary uptake of telephone and internet triage, and this has accelerated the pace of digital change enormously. The health system is going to get more investment to make it more resilient, and even more non-urgent, non-acute care will come out into the primary care arena. Of that much I am sure.
Many aspects of care that are routinely carried out in hospital can already be done in properly specified larger medical centres. They include x-ray, diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopies, and pathology. Would you believe that (going into the pandemic) some GP practices do not have the facilities to offer a basic blood test?
Many of the old ways will change. The demand for office space will be reduced, and physical meetings may become the exception rather than the norm. Commuting could be very unpopular for a time, and we might have to live with staggered working days and flexible practices.
On a personal note, I have been self-isolating and can’t wait for that to end. I also had the dubious honour of attending my poor late mother’s funeral by Zoom. Surreal in the extreme but it did enable relatives from all over the world to attend, even if I couldn’t be there in person.
And what of our social lives? I believe people will be desperate to mingle, particularly the young. Hospitality and leisure may be the last to come out of lockdown, but for the few businesses that do survive the pandemic there will be a gradual return to more normal times in this sector – with adaptations. But this is what makes the human species so brilliant: its ability to innovate and to adapt to a new normal.
My predictions for June 2021:
UK in recession: No
Sterling vs US dollar: Higher
Sterling vs euro: Higher
UK base rate: Lower than 1%