As the coronavirus continues to dominate society in the media, in professional careers, and in everyday life, interesting effects have been seen in the changing regulations across industries. Because this virus is so unprecedented in its global reach, sweeping changes have been made across the world in attempts to best cope with the pandemic and to accommodate citizens. Specifically, significant alterations in the regulation and allowances can be seen at banks, in the environment, in the medical sector, and in day-to-day operations like work and school.
In the banking sector, the United States government passed a 2.2 trillion-dollar stimulus package on March 27th. One of the main impacts this will have on banks is the bill’s delay of the implementation of a new accounting rule that would require firms to better report on the losses that happen after the issuance of loans. Changes in accounting standards require large shifts in how books are kept and the delay of such a change will allow banks to better focus on the crisis at hand. Additionally, smaller community banks won’t be required to hold as much cash as they normally would to hedge against an economic downturn, allowing them to reinvest elsewhere. In a system that is already facing extreme pressure and difficulty as a result of poor economic performance tied to the coronavirus, this is a welcomed installment for banking sectors around the world.
Further regulation changes can be seen in the environmental and medical sectors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greatly reduced pollution rules for power plants and factories which has permitted companies to produce at greater rates and save money in the face of crisis. Although more pollution is a negative consequence for the environment, studies have shown that self-isolation in areas of mass populations has drastically cut human-made air pollutants, which will somewhat mitigate the impact of the EPA wiping its normal regulations.
In addition to these environmental regulation changes, medical equipment producers are facing fewer roadblocks to production. As mentioned last week, companies that don’t normally produce medical equipment are postponing their normal production and instead are making equipment like ventilators and hand sanitizer. Countries like the U.S. and Italy attempt to ramp up their testing efforts to match those seen in China and South Korea, companies currently synthesizing testing kits are being awarded increased flexibility around the test kits that can be used to analyze patients, allowing for a greater percentage of the population to be tested. Medical professionals have similarly been treated in this manner in order to match patient demand.
The most obvious regulation change seen across the globe is in our everyday lives. With social isolation orders enacted, society is forced to stay home—meaning work and school are done from home as well. This is creating massive policy changes across the board and is a monumental disruption to the way most people operate. Elsewhere, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently reversed a decision that restricted athletes from setting up GoFundMe pages to help provide relief to people harmed by the coronavirus and its effects on jobs. The new precedent allows well-known athletes with connections to wide audiences to gain the attention and financial support of those who can help.
Ultimately, the coronavirus has and will continue to necessitate severe change in many facets of the world. In addition to bringing about new challenges, these changes will also permit the discovery of new opportunities and strategies that better the world and have a lasting impact on how things operate going forward.