Caught up in the present, we wonder- what will life be like once all this is over?

The drastic effects of COVID-19 have caused incredible changes in all of our lives. The world has dramatically shifted the way it works, forced to function differently than it has for thousands of years. With entire countries, states, and cities shutting down, life has slowed to a screeching halt. This rapid change has conceived a few burning questions- what will happen when we return to normalcy? Will we be more prepared for something like this in the future?

One thing is clear in our current moment- we were not ready for a viral outbreak, or a disastrous event of this magnitude. We have watched widespread, global panic prevail, with the fear of this virus taking control of how we operate as a people. One thing we’ve been able to observe is a change in consumer behavior, and how the public engages economically in the face of a crisis. Specifically, we have seen shortages of basic essentials like food, water and toilet paper, as the public attempts to stockpile resources with the prospect of an uncertain, immediate future.

Basic economics and history give us a pretty good idea as to what will happen in response to this increased demand. Suppliers will see that consumers are engaging in different spending patterns, and that they are now valuing preparation over cost. Once these companies perceive an opportunity, they will jump at it- boosting their production in an effort to reach the people now willing to spend more to prepare, in an effort to mitigate the adverse effects should another crisis occur.

The harsh economic downfall this virus has caused has affected the majority of businesses, in every category. So, expect every company to adjust their behavior to match new consumer attitudes and preferences. It stands to reason that each and every business that can offer more products that help people prepare will do exactly that. Grocery stores and supermarkets will carry an increased supply of essentials, gas stations will start stocking more hand sanitizer, and big box stores will begin to offer a huge catalog of preparedness products like go-bags, generators and portable shelters. The world will be overflowing with products designed to help you get ready for an emergency, and each and every business will be vying for their share of this new, growing preparedness market.

The estimated value of the current preparedness market sits around $100 billion US dollars, and was projected to grow to $122 billion by the year 2023. The coronavirus has changed the course of many things, and this is no exception. With the devastation it caused due to how vastly underprepared we were, consumers and businesses alike will invest heavily in preparedness, in an effort to mitigate the harsh effects of another event like this, should one occur. A new world will emerge out of this crisis, one that is ready, and more prepared than ever before.