The global pandemic has profoundly affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people, in some cases with irrevocable consequences.
Apart from the hundreds of thousands of people that lost their lives worldwide, many millions more contracted it, and, even those who have recovered, some will be left with unknown long-term health effects.
It also had a devastating economic effect. Not only were millions of jobs lost in sectors such as hospitality and leisure lost, some for good, but citizens in many countries are now faced with higher tax bills, as governments seeking to replenish coffers emptied by the provision of financial support packages and furlough schemes at the height of the global health crisis.
Covid has not gone away – instead, it is taking is place in the scheme of pantheon of diseases that humankind has to learn how to live alongside.
Nevertheless, there is a sense that the worst of the crisis may be over and, by the end of 2022, there will be a return to some form of normality for many.
However, those hoping that things will just go back to how they were before this all started, at the end of 2019, are likely to be disappointed.
Even If the threat has receded, Covid restrictions and health protocols are likely to remain in place for some time to come, and there are sectors of the population, particularly older people, and the infirm, who will take some convincing that it is safe to venture out again and mingle with crowds.
And the residual tensions between the vaccinated and unvaccinated will continue to divide societies.
Meanwhile the exodus from major cities is likely to continue. People began to yearn during the pandemic for a safer, quitter life, and the countryside seem to offer an attractive alternative to life I metropolitan areas, with the attendant hustle and bustle.
Working from home became a way of life for millions during the health crisis, and, having tried it, many found that they liked it, with all the convenience it affords, and the time saved in commuting.
Employers have also looked at work patterns and realised that many jobs do not need somebody to actually be in an office to be performed, and can be done by somebody sat at home just as easily as long as they have a good enough internet connection.
Retail habits have also changed and online shopping has become the norm for many. Even small businesses that did not have an online presence before the pandemic were forced to quickly adapt or face going out of business.
And, surrounding that, delivery services and courier businesses have sprung up to get goods from stores to local homes within an hour or so.
Off the back of this trend, one of the industries that thrived during the pandemic was the online lottery business – –online lottery sites can be found here for those interested in learning more about some of the leading operators.
In the first place, such lotteries provided entertainment and a source of fun during what were otherwise dark times. They are provided reassurance and even company – those forced into isolation by government lockdowns welcomed the chance of company, even virtually, via those sites that offered live dealer games and by being part of an online community.
Even those who would never have stepped inside a physical casino in their lives found that they enjoyed the experience.
And, of course, for those who are regular visitors to casinos, but who were denied access to them because their doors were shuttered because of locally imposed lockdowns it meant that they could continue to gain their fix of action at the gaming tables and on the slots.
The trend towards online gambling shows no signs of slowing down, even as people begin to mingle physically again.
In the first place, it is convenient. Online casinos are open 24/7 365 days a week, and people can play anytime, anywhere, without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Operators have also invested heavily in the online experience, with a wide range of games, enhanced by audio, aural and oral special effects and the adoption of virtual and augmented reality, so that players are now able to enjoy the same experience of being in a bricks and mortar casino as if they were there in person.
On the security side, operators are useful secure data encryption and are exploring the possibilities that blockchain and its concept of remote peer-to-peer transactions offers to ensure they are able to offer players even increasing degrees of security when playing.
In fact, most operators offer greater online data security than most of the major banks nowadays.
All this means that online lottery operators can look forward to a prosperous future, and one from which there I s no turning back.