The Covid-19 sanitary, economical and then social crisis that the world is currently facing will obviously have an impact on the day after tomorrow. Some people tend to think that the world will dramatically change. Others think that the collectivity will forget about this and get back to old habits.
We have probably all these questions in mind. After Covid-19, will people change their way of consuming? Will they change the way they live? Will companies change the way they are organized? Or, after the storm of Covid-19 will everything get back to “normal”?
As human being, we would be fools to go back to the “old” system, this before Covid-19. On the other hand, we would be a bit “crazy” to believe that the things are going to be transformed from bottom up. I think the day after tomorrow will look like yesterday but with slight improvements. At least, I hope so.
First, we have to admit the fact that the world is not governed by one hand. It is governed by many hands. And the agendas of heads of states differ from one to another. In addition, some countries are more “advanced” than others when it comes to long term and sustainable strategies for the good of human being. For example, when the United States massively invest in defense, the Scandinavian countries tend to invest in healthcare and education. When Germany heavily invest in green tech, China keeps burning tons of coal every year.
As a result, it is naive to believe that after Covid-19 crisis everyone will sit around the table and agree on the same agenda. In my personal opinion, the day after tomorrow should put human being in the center of the game. Running after GDP growth does not have any sense to me. On the contrary, this race is just contributing to dig the hole we are in.
Covid-19 crisis : An opportunity for Bulgaria
I think that some countries, and Bulgaria is one of them, should consider the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity. Because Bulgaria can speed up some processes and become an example to follow. On some aspects, Bulgaria is far behind other countries while on others, it is innovative and ahead of the crowd. The “delay” of Bulgaria due to its late stage of development – which really started in the 1990’s – gave Bulgaria a competitive advantage. Yes ! Some sectors were not developed at all. That allowed the country to jump over intermediary stages because they was no point to pass through these mile stones.
To accelerate its development
I will just take an example which speaks for itself. The first country I have been able to experience paying my car park with my phone was Bulgaria. When in France I still had to insert coins in the meter, in Sofia, I was able to pay sending a text message. True ! This example does not prove that Bulgaria will send the first man on Mars. But this is an example of how we can skip the meter stage to pass directly from the “middle age” to the 21st century.
There are a lot of sectors which have not been developed yet in Bulgaria. If they are developed tomorrow, the country will skip the intermediary stages. I think about some aspects of bio and medical devices technologies. I think of digitalization of education processes. Then, I think of green energy, agriculture and many others.
To limit the outsourcing in Asia of the production of strategic goods and services
The second advantage of Bulgaria is that it is not yet highly connected to the globalization which preserved the country from some of its negative aspects. If we look at the Covid-19 sanitary crisis for example, we can see that Bulgaria is one of the country with the least impacted in term of sick people. This is obviously due to the fact that the government reacted fast after the first case was declared. But it is also because there is less people traveling to and from Bulgaria. As a result, the fact to be “isolated” probably helped a lot in the management of the crisis.
Bulgaria is still a bit “independent” from the world economy. It gives it the capacity to keep going even when the world trade is dramatically slowing down. This is the first lesson most of western counties learned from this crisis. You can’t keep outsourcing to Asia the production of strategic goods and services. What are those goods? Vital medical devices, energy and food.
From the moment a country is able to feed and curate its citizens without depending on others for its energy source, we can say that it can keep going even with a shutdown of the world economy. Having a “simple life” is what most westerners are currently learning because they forgot about it long time ago. Bulgarians have been struggling for the last 30 years and kept their feet on the ground. The current crisis is just showing that people with simple needs are the best prepared for a world where natural resources will be limited and in which the purpose of life will not be to consume but to live healthy and happy.
To produce hight quality products
There are still some sectors in Bulgaria which did not fall into the race for productivity and which still give out good quality products. I am thinking for example of green agriculture. There is an opportunity for Bulgaria to lead the way and show to the rest of the world that we can grow tasty and healthy fruit and vegetable.
There is also an opportunity for Bulgaria to develop green energy (mainly solar and wind). Bulgaria can lead the way in creating the city of the future because many cities will have to be restructured in the next 20 years. It is the perfect opportunity to re-build on the place of old to-be-destroyed building positive energy infrastructure, to connect the different districts with non-Co2 emission transportation means, increase the use of bikes, increase the space for parks, trees etc.
To believe in its people
Last but not least, to succeed in the third industrial revolution, Bulgaria will have to count on its people. For once, let’s try to see the fact that nearly 2 million Bulgarians live abroad as an asset rather than a threat. Fist, some of them might come back with ideas and concepts they see abroad. Second, for those who do not come back permanently home, they still can have a positive impact on Bulgaria if we are able to catch their interest and make them participate in projects.
If we were able to make Bulgarians living abroad think of Bulgaria as “home” even if their life is abroad, they would keep this link and would come back more often. In addition, they would be willing to contribute and participate in development projects even from abroad. Once again, it’s a matter of common vision.
Bulgaria and Bulgarians have everything they need to make of the 21st century the century of Bulgaria. Many of Bulgarians speak about the prestigious past of the country. At one point Bulgaria was way ahead of its time. I think it’s time again to make Bulgaria an example to follow. The Covid-19 crisis is open the doors of the new era in which the cards will be redistributed. We will witness a new deal and we should not miss that train.
The is a French singer, Jean-Jacques Goldman, who wrote a song for Celine Dion and in which it says that “the last ones will be the first ones and the first ones will be the last ones”. Covid-19 is the shaker which comes to disturb the statu quo.
Madame Bulgaria is a webzine (a blog) launched in June 2016 in English. Our aim is to show to the world how Bulgaria is a very nice country, full of potential. We cover all kind of topics – Lifestyle, Culture, Places, Food, People, Tourism, Beauty, Fashion, Business, Ecosystem, and More. We try to be as objective as possible. Madame Bulgaria crew works every week to offer a new, fresh and dynamic content on Bulgaria.