How the pandemic is proving to be a catalyst for change

How our reaction to a virus changed everything

The concept of telemedicine has been around for decades and has been promoted by such medical illuminati as Great Ormond Street's Dr Ricky Richardson for over twenty years. We all knew the potential for increasing effectiveness, bringing together teams of expertise, saving time, saving money and saving lives, but it took COVID-19 to get us all to properly adopt the technology (like it or not!).

Many doctors voiced concerns over the quality of remote consultations, but most would now agree that a significant amount of triage and assessment within certain therapeutic areas - such as the management of menopause - is possible online and via Zoom. Most patients will have now experienced that their GPs have readily adopted the new online systems - such as eConsult and Doctrin (see also how to get the best medical care online). However, it would appear that patients are now also experiencing some degrees of dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the new automated systems - as can be seen by a quick search of individual medical practice 'Google Reviews'. So, although there is plenty that can be done online, most doctors would agree that there is still a big need for face-to-face consultations.

Will the new normal be weird?

Another concern is that it will be weird going back to normal - or whatever 'normal' constitutes. The links between wealth, poverty and health are all well known, so what will be the economic impact of change in 2021, what are the implications - and what can we, as individuals actually do? 

For advice on these points, financial health coach, Leigh Cavanagh in his article, Forecasting financial health explains that, "The New Year has dawned, with perhaps more hope than normal and, maybe, more opportunity too. We can carry on moaning about 2020 or we can learn from it and move forward, stronger".

What other changes has the pandemic catalysed?

The pandemic has catalysed other changes. Some are complete, others are still underway:

  • The ‘mass exodus’ from London has been good news for the periphery (Conveyancing instructions and rental interest have both doubled in places, compared to previous years). What does this mean for Londoners? Stock of larger dwellings could be discounted but flats and weekday-living accommodation should hold up. 
  • Large US technology companies (collectively known as FATMAAN) have thrived during Lockdown but some of these offer only extrinsic value for investors. If Biden breaks them up, or the bubbles burst, this will bring their market caps down. Growth investing appears to be giving way to a Value approach. 
  • The FTSE comprises, typically, more traditional stocks - there is no ‘Big Tech’ in the UK to prop up this index and Brexit has also weighed heavily on UK markets. The handbrake is now easing and, fundamentally, UK companies offer a compelling argument for the medium term.
  • The ‘green shift’ is underway and investing can, finally, be a force for good in this World. A shift to sustainable funds within your pension can be 27 times more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than all of your other eco-friendly efforts combined.
  • With investors, pension savers and Wealth Management companies all becoming more discerning when it comes to the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) credentials of the funds and companies they are investing in, the returns are also there and now is the time to buy into this movement – you won’t be the only winner.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes will be the shift to taking on a financial coach - in addition to the personal coach.

An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary

The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods cease

Full medical glossary
An outbreak of infection that affects numerous people in different countries. Full medical glossary
A craving to eat non-food substances such as earth or coal. Full medical glossary
Telephone or internet use to obtain advice from experts at another site. Full medical glossary
A microbe that is only able to multiply within living cells. Full medical glossary