OSEA Safety Blog

Possible Long-term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Tiffany Bartz

The COVID-19 Pandemic has most certainly affected every human on this planet in some way for the short term. The saying, “The shorter the better!”, is something I am sure we can all agree on. Looking down the road, what are the possible long-term effects of this Pandemic that we can anticipate?

This is certainly a loaded question with a lot of unknowns. We have no way of really knowing. This is something that will be analyzed for many years to come. However, we can investigate this based on what we already know from past events and what we know currently about this one.


Most companies will agree that traveling for business has been altered forever. Zoom meetings have taken over the need to meet in person. This can be a personal benefit for employees and cost savings for many companies.

Working from home has been proven to be successful for many employees and companies. Should this trend continue many companies may downsize their office areas. We could potentially see vacancies in large office buildings.


Less traffic on the road during the “rush” hours, could lead to a trend of reduced automobile accidents and injuries. Many cities have already reported that air pollution has been visibly reduced. Cleaner air and reduced emissions would be a great long-term effect.


Traveling internationally, and nationally, has been limited because of the virus. Several countries have placed a ban on Americans traveling to their country and now states have placed bans on travel within our own border. It is difficult to say when these bans will get lifted/changed or how this will alter the trends of Americans traveling to other countries for vacation.


It is difficult to determine how education will forever be changed because of the virus. The effectiveness of online learning, social growth, and personal needs must all be considered. Classrooms could foreseeably be downsized. Rotating school schedules, class school start time and bus schedules may be varied.


For a brief time, the military was disqualifying anyone who had tested positive for the virus from being recruited. That order has since been rescinded. In a statement issued by Matthew Donovan, defense undersecretary for personnel, “the military will continue using its existing medical standards for prospective recruits. But those who've had the virus could still be found unfit to serve.” (1).


We know less about the potential long-term health effects this virus may cause than anything. Recent reports indicate that the virus can potentially damage many of the body’s organs. It is impossible to tell now if this damage will remain and if it will cause further complications. We also know nothing about how it may affect asymptomatic people down the road.

Ultimately, COVID-19 will be studied for many years to come. We will have to wait with time to see what and how it affected our lives and our world.


1. https://www.military.com/

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