Living in the pandemic hasn’t been easy. Standard routines have gone out of the window as millions have adjusted to staying at home and finding new ways to pass the time. Fortunately, not everyone has suffered immensely over the last year.
Some have used the situation as an opportunity to bring some light into the world and provide help where needed. We’ve seen it in the healthcare staff who came out of retirement to deal with the massive influx of patients. We’ve seen it in the people who wrote letters to the care home residents who were lonely without their families visiting. We’ve even seen it in a lot of entrepreneurs and investors, too.
Here are three stories that show that for all the trouble it’s caused, the pandemic has had its share of lighter moments.
Helping Reduce Unemployment
The pandemic has been problematic for a lot of reasons, unemployment being one of them. In the UK, 5% of the working population are now without a job, an increase from the 3.8% this figure was at just over a year ago. Not only does this mean that more people are struggling to make ends meet, but it also means the need for work is pivotal at a time when jobs are hard to come by. Plenty of people who apply for a position find themselves unsuccessful because so many others are competing against them.
That’s why the work of Andrea Gerson is so notable. Before COVID-19, she’d already been helping to craft résumés for low-income individuals who often face barriers when applying for jobs. However, she took things to the next level when the pandemic hit by developing a software tool to make creating résumés easier than ever.
So far, the tool has helped hundreds of people find new work, plenty of which have offered a wage higher than the jobs they were in previously. While unemployment is still a serious issue that needs tackling, the help that Gerson has provided could go a long way post-pandemic.
Investing In Humanitarian Projects
For a technologist like Tej Kohli, money is never scarce these days. However, rather than using it all for selfish means, the man has been incredibly generous with his finances. You only have to look at the $100 million that he invested into Rewired not that long ago.
Through this fund, some incredible work is being done to generate prosthetics, optimise solar power generation, and make plastic even more recyclable. Open Bionics, Aromyx, and Seldon are some of the companies benefitting from the Rewired fund, the money from which will help employ staff and keep the developments coming at a steady pace. Without these millions, they wouldn’t be able to make the advancements they’re working on, which would potentially set the progress of artificial intelligence and various healthcare initiatives back.
It’s also worth remembering that Tej Kohli is the man whose not-for-profit is helping to eradicate corneal blindness, an issue that largely affects people living in poverty. With the pandemic hitting these people incredibly hard over the last year, it’s good to know that they’re still being catered for during such trying times.
Taking Greater Notice Of ESG Factors
It’s not just Tej Kohli’s investments that are helping the planet in light of the pandemic. According to research from Aviva, more than half of the 500 investors surveyed agreed that they’d take ESG factors into greater consideration when investing. These relate to the environmental, societal, and governmental impacts of a company, which dictate its sustainability.
Given all the concerns around climate change and other dangers to the planet, ESG factors are important to think about when investing. If more people are eager to prioritise them, it may well mean a shift in future business practices.
The results of the survey arrived months after the pandemic hit, with the global disaster seemingly prompting people to reconsider where they put their money. Many investors have never paid ESG factors much mind, but it seems that being stuck inside has made them realise what can happen when you take things for granted.
If investment habits do indeed change because of the pandemic, and if business practices alter in turn because of this, at least the lasting impact of COVID-19 won’t be all bad.
It’s easy to look at the pandemic as one of the worst things to happen to the world, given the health troubles and economic turmoil it’s caused. However, as terrible as the last year has been, it’s good to see there have been some light moments amongst all the dark ones. These are the things worth remembering once COVID-19 is behind us because they’re a reminder that good can still thrive, even when things are at their worst.