The coronavirus could lead to changes in everyday working life, says Charles Pitt.

The coronavirus pandemic has achieved what the United Nations never has in uniting every nation in a battle to beat the virus. Politicians have not been shy of using wartime rhetoric ― here in the UK everyone from the Prime Minster to the Queen has alluded to our mythical ‘Blitz spirit’. But as Her Majesty wisely observed: “This time we join all nations across the globe in common endeavour.” But while the virus’ impact is universally felt, it has not been universally applied. It is doing different things to different people in different places.

There is significant variance in attitudes from country to country. In Europe journalists are not waiting for the virus to subside before offering explanations as to why the rate of infection or the death rate statistics vary between countries as culturally similar as the UK and Ireland or why Italy and Germany’s experience of the virus have been different. And while this pandemic is on a scale not seen in recent times, global pandemics are not brand new. South Korea’s experience of the SARS outbreak in 2002–3 focused their government’s attention and may explain how they have held the virus in check. Elsewhere the very health of a nation might explain the high death toll ― a virus that proves so deadly among the very old will only thrive where there are long life expectancies.


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