Global Communications Specialist and Senior Vice President at Philip Morris International (PMI), Marian Salzman, has disclosed that, as of mid October 2021, 6.7 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered, and almost half the world’s population had received at least one jab. Yet this rapid achievement of science has stirred suspicion and fear as well as admiration. Fears of the vaccines are varied, from concerns about potential side-effects to unsubstantiated theories that the vaccination will implant a microchip or interfere with human DNA.
Marian has since described the year 2021 as “brutal” and dampened by the pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide.
“ I think the only thing stopping us from wholly embracing the promise of January 1, 2021 is a gut-wrenching fear that events and circumstances might actually worsen. This definitely puts a damper on New Year’s Eve party planning,” said Marian when she presented her report during a Webinar on December 8, 2021.
Marian observed majority of the people did not go for the vaccine because of the fear that it will interfere with their human DNA. She challenged scientists to come up with empirical evidence to prove the efficacy of the doses thereby dispelling disinformation and misinformation surrounding the vaccine.
She expressed great concern that with small numbers of people getting vaccinated against the pandemic worldwide, countries may have challenges to contain the disease in the near and distant future.
The global thinker and motivational speaker expressed these sentiments on December 8, 2021, when she presented her annual trends report via Webinar.
In the trends report, Marian explores 11 insightful future trends that promise to influence people’s life choices and behaviours as they progress into what will ultimately become their next normal.
Marian said as people approach the new year, there is uncertainty about the future and whether it is too late to change their present course.
“We’re feeling emotionally out of touch with one another—and hungry for physical touch. We’re fearful of the destruction we’re collectively wreaking on the planet and clinging to the hope that our small acts of mindfulness will go some way toward reversing the damage. We’re frantic to slow down the spiralling changes long enough to take a restorative breath and want reassurance that it’s not too late to figure out a path to a better, more stable future—for us individually and for society as a whole,” she said.
She added that coming off the great pause of the pandemic of 2020, global communities should expect more “zooming in on our local communities, scrambling long-held notions of time and space, devising ways to reclaim real estate from the virtual realm, and making peace with uncertainty.”
“Resilience and adaptation will be the order of the day—and year. And as we near the close of 2021, I think the sense of me over we, is more omnipresent than ever. We all know now that 2021 was not the year of miracles. Despite vaccines, we still struggle with Covid-19, including the emergent Omicron variant,” she said.
Marian further observed that the global population remains divided along political, economical as well as racial lines and that misinformation paired with far flung conspiracy theories continue to accrue power often crowding out science-backed expertise.
She said the year 2021 brought more headache and angst among people, as there was evidence that a “great positive 202o truly didn’t spark a great research.”
“More of us are thinking that actions, which are personalized in which the society and communities and countries are headed. We have seen this great so-called resignation in the US, in Europe and elsewhere, as one result of the people reassessing their priorities, seeking change,” she said.
On mental health and wellness, Marian predicted that the people’s second pandemic is the diseases of despair.
She emphasized that as the world gets wiser to mental health, the time is ripe for widespread adoption of programmes, tools, and technologies that tackle anxiety and depression and foster good mental health – including in the workplace.
She said something different from how it was before is likely to be the answer for many, as immediate channels have been filled with stories about a great number of resignations.
The predictor observed that not everyone has the luxury of leaving their job so instead some people are looking for compromises that they can feel good about; earning less in exchange for more flexibility or corporate goals that go beyond profits.
“In 2022, many will be still trying to figure out what they want from work. Remote and hybrid arrangements will be part of the new corporate flexibility, e.g. PMI’s SmartWork to enable greater flexibility. So, one thing I am observing is the rise of skill squads and cohesion cultivators.
“Savvy companies are identifying skills gaps and finding smart ways to bring employees’ skills up to date quickly and cost-effectively. As organizations and employees experiment with infinite permutations of hybrid working, cohesion agents will bring the scattered parts together in new and fruitful ways – either from within the organization or as external consultants.
“New technologies are going mainstream – Zoom, VR, AI, cryptocurrencies to name a few, giving rise to new fortunes and new cultures. And economies are near to bursting with pent-up consumer demand.
“One of the most noteworthy shifts of the pandemic is that we are now seeing other people in ways we rarely did before. Those of us who had the luxury of sheltering in place last spring became acutely aware of those “essential” workers who afforded us that privilege. The grocery store clerks and delivery drivers. The warehouse workers and mail carriers. First responders and medical personnel.
“Many of us paid attention—in some cases, for the first time—to how these people were being compensated, taking note, for instance, of which employers actually had humane and human centric policies,” said Marian.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :