Alumni Voice


“Covid-19 has shown light on one of the most obvious problem in society”

Namthip Vannalath

Attending university in Australia from 2021

Covid-19 has dramatically affected our day to day life and is slowing down the world’s economy. Being hit by a deadly virus, that even scientists haven’t even fully understood, and vaccines are no yet available, is hard. A lot of important economic sectors that are hardly affected by the virus include the pharmaceuticals industry, solar power, transportation (esp. airlines), tourism, other tertiary sectors and small businesses. Many countries put up restriction to battle this highly communicable virus, for example: closing the boarder with other country, locking down their country, enforcing strict quarantine, banning mass gathering and son on. These changes will certainly protect people from the deadly virus, but it will also shape how people live differently.

The first and most obvious change tend to be people’s lifestyle which has changed significantly due to the government restriction and quarantine. People can’t have face to face meeting or any physical engagement like touching others, shaking hands or breathing in an enclose spaced has become risky and people know that. How fast or slow would it take to adapt to the changes depend on person. But it is almost certain that somewhere in our mind, these things has become the second nature to us already. People now feel safer staying at home working or studying by using various online platform; now that posts an advantage although it creates more distance but people who are physically farther away or have limitations that obstruct them from enrolling to a school will be provided with a chance to take part in learning process. Unfortunately, those with limited access to broadband will be excluded.

Secondly, Covid-19 has advertising effect on nation’s workforce with unprecedented level of unemployment rise, leaving millions of people globally unemployed in the middle of the pandemic as a result of mandatory temporary shutdown. Therefore, outdoor activity and mass gathering, in many places like concert, theater, gyms, restaurants, were canceled. And the real question is ‘will life get back to normal as people are now get more and more used to homie lifestyle?’ jobs that are considered nonessential could be permanently replaced or laid out as a consequence of more frequent used of new technologies and other service such as: waiters, data keyers, cashier, etc. As even before the pandemic, many business owners had been trying to cut costs by lay off workers and increase utility of machinery; Covid-19 seems to accelerate that process now that big and small businesses are filing bankruptcy and need to cut costs in every way they can some jobs will be temporary abandoned, but some might be permanently gone.

Covid-19 has also hit hard on one of the most important sector, global economy and supply chain, in an unprecedented scale. Multinational companies are now facing supply and demand shock as governments order people to stay at home. Therefore, businesses and normal people struggle to procure basic goods and are forced to experience fragility of modern supply chain, which needs to be redesigned to make it more diverse. What covid-19 does is that it has exposed the vulnerabilities of global supply chain system built on lean manufacturing principles. That is particularly true with healthcare sector where many countries rely on getting supply of pharmaceutical equipment from single source, driven by cost control. One obvious example could be when Chinese factories closed in lockdown period, we can see other companies were struggling from lack of flexibility of supply base. As a result, many companies will definitely consider spreading their factories in other manufacturing hubs in the future to Vietnam, Mexico, India, etc to help spread out the risk and reduce uncertainties.

Even though the virus has caused devastated economies and disruption life in an unimaginable way just a year ago. After the vaccine comes out people will start going out and life will return to normal again. But the question we should be asking is that ho long it will take to restore people trust and confidence to travel again. Elizabeth Monahan, spokesperson from stated ‘Tourism recovery typically begins locally’ at this time, it is certain that nobody wants to travel far from home on an airplane from fear that they might catch the virus while travelling. People is more likely to travel within their country or places within areas they are allowed to travel to, which means more domestic travel will rise. This could be one advantage arises despite the negative aspects caused by the pandemic, as local businesses and products that once were thought to be completely destroyed by the pandemic is now being supported by domestic tourist, a lot of jobs will be secured, and young generation will experience the beauty of their own country and culture. For now a lot of airports are beginning to focus domestic flights more than before, and some governments, for example in my countries, domestic travel is encouraged by discount of flights to cities like Luang Prabarng, Vang Vieng, Savannakhet to keep aviation sector alive. In post pandemic period, I believe people will more aware of domestic travel and appreciate what their country has to offer much more than before.

A series of unfortunate events was and always happen throughout human history; sometimes it can be predicted but not prevented. The only rational thing to do would be accepting the situation and learn how to live with it. During the lockdown period in March and April, I participated in an English program in my country called Peer-to-peer program; the main objective was to construct online learning and create an easier access to learning resources for people who can’t go to school at the time. Later, the realization struck me that majority of the participants came from poor family background, people with restricted condition and lacked investment in their education. Apparently, the spreading of covid-19 has shown light on one of the most obvious problem in society nobody noticed; this program is a product of a miserable event but end up being a hope for so many people. At the end of the program, I have come out with a management skill of the program’s website and AI knowledge; I will surely utilize these skills in any future projects in the future that help people battle the virus.


最初の、そして最も明白な変化は、政府による行動制限と検疫の影響で、人々の生活様式が大幅に変わったことです。対面での面会ができなかったり、握手をすることのような他者との物理的な接触ができなかったり、密な状態で呼吸をしたりすることが危険なのを、多くの人たちは理解しています。この変化に適応するのにどのくらいの時間がかかるのかは人によって違うでしょう。しかし、私たちの心のどこかでは、こういった変化をすでに自然にほぼ受け入れていることは間違いないでしょう。人々 は今では様々なオンラインツールを使うことによって、より安全を感じながら、自宅で仕事をしたり勉強をしたりしています。オンラインでの作業は人と人の距離を物理的には作ってしまいます。しかし、元から物理的に距離がある人や、何らかの障害があって学校に通うことが難しかった人たちにとっては、オンラインツールによって学びの機会を得ることができるのです。そうはいっても残念ながら、ブロードバンド・インターネットへのアクセスが制限されている人は除外されます。





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