This Is the Altered Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to necessitate unimagined change. The impact it has brought to our world would have seemed, for many, unthinkable at the turn of the year. Some refer to this change as the “new normal.” Really, however, it’s the ”altered normal.” We are experiencing significant alterations to supply chain, manufacturing, and education models. How families live together and apart, how and where we shop, the shape of our workplaces, the meaning of an essential worker, and every facet of recreation and leisure have seen major changes as well. While the sharpness of these shifts may make life and work feel like a new reality, this altered normal has been in motion for decades — and most of us have missed it. Businesses most able to adapt in this pandemic are helmed by leaders who previously built into their thinking and strategic plans the ideas of disruption and digital transformation. These are strategic leaders who previously understood the forces and trends that were shaping the future, and grasp that the industry is ever-evolving beyond COVID-19.

Consumer Response

After hitting a peak in February 2020, the United States officially entered an economic recession, ending its longest expansion in history, lasting just over 10 years. Other global economies are also suffering. This recession is different to those of before. How fast the economy has slowed, who its slowing is affecting, and its leading factors all distinguish it from previous downturns. Jason Furman, an economist and professor at Harvard Kennedy School, described the current U.S. economy as being in a “medically induced coma.” Others highlight the fact that for many consumers and politicians, the remedy for the pandemic is an economic pause. Click to read more at