The COVID-19 pandemic is ushering in a new era by “hotwiring” the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). “Hotwire,” in this sense, is defined by historians as a process that forces a historical era to arrive more quickly—a new era being defined by an exponential leap in technology in terms of velocity, scope, fusion, and systems impact.
The speed of current breakthroughs have no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the 4IR is evolving exponentially rather than linearly. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the onset of 4IR as people stay at home and adapt to a new technological reality.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a blended civil-military approach that is worth watching, particularly. With Ramadan beginning April 23, the UAE’s COVID-19 military-medical/civil defense program involves a campaign that closes and disinfects mosques and Islamic facilities. Dubai completed its campaign on April 12. In the meantime, Islamic distance learning and social separation programs are being implemented, especially, during Ramadan for prayers. Laws targeting the circulation of rumors about COVID-19, such as “panic shopping,” are being rigidly enforced in order to keep civil control. Information about the program is amplified to the faithful by state-supported mosques through the seven Emirates.
The UAE will focus on strengthening its medical, food and economic security as part of its strategy for the post-coronavirus era, as per the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai during a remote UAE government meeting on Sunday.
“Our national priorities need to be reviewed to cope with the post-COVID-19 world. Our financial and human resources need to be redirected to strengthen our medical, food and economic security through new programs and projects,” Sheikh Mohammed said during the meeting titled “Preparations for the post-coronavirus, COVID-19, period”.
Sheikh Mohammed added: “We are prepared to rebuild all of our organizations in all sectors to ensure the well-being, happiness, stability and empowerment of our society… Our goal is today is not only to protect people’s health, but to protect the economy, to protect the good life we have worked for fifty years to create for our people.”
“The coronavirus pandemic created a global shock which rattled the economies of major countries in a manner that surpassed the most pessimistic of expectations, and its impact will reflect negatively on various sectors of public and private work.”
“However, flexible governments, such as the UAE government, is more prepared and is experienced in innovation and modernization, which makes it more capable than others to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis.”
Overall, there will be no return to “normal” after the scale and scope of this pandemic. Decontamination procedures should be finalized and implemented quickly. The environmental impact is unknown.