Michael's Top 10 Post Pandemic Prognostications
Updated: May 22, 2020
Here are ten quick thoughts about the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for your rumination - in no particular order. Please let me know what you think.
1. Interpersonal interaction will become (semi) permanently stressed - particularly among strangers. People will be warm - but will keep their distance. Will COVID-19 lead to the slow death of the handshake?
2. Hand sanitizer stations will be everywhere - like water fountains! There may even be personal hygiene stations in urban areas like phone booths used to be liberally distributed throughout public spaces.
3. People will hoard essentials; folks won’t be caught without enough TP ever again! This will also be the case for governments, who will be forced to stockpile emergency materials to be better prepared and for fear of political reprisal.
4. The COVID-19 pandemic will usher in new ways of working as companies realize the efficiencies of engaging remotely with groups of their employees. As well, this will firmly cement the ‘gig economy’. Independent contractors will soon be king!
5. The necessary hyper focus on hand washing will spawn a generation of new bugs - resistant to hand washing and antibacterials. We will get over COVID-19 but be stuck with new, but thankfully lesser, germs.
6. As physical interpersonal interaction declines, social media interaction will rise. This increase in human engagement via social media will spark innovation in new social sites and apps. Video conferencing will explode - as people satisfy the urge to connect with each other via technology.
7. Lots of work will be done on how to minimize the spread of infectious disease - particularly among higher risk populations. The rich have always been able to access private care, but increasingly we'll see groups of upper middle class seniors pooling their retirement funds to jointly build multi-family homes - with purpose built spaces for nurses and medical care - to protect them from the risks of larger settings like assisted living and senior centers.
8. As much as anything in recent memory, the pandemic illustrates the adage that the world really is getting smaller. It also shows the relative irrelevance of national borders. I wonder if COVID-19 will generate a newfound sense of international, interracial, and inter-ethnic unity as people begin to realize that what unites them is so much more than what divides them.
9. COVID-19 will create a greater appreciation for universal healthcare. Healthcare-for-all protects both individuals as well as all those who they might endanger. The rich in America will finally realize that it’s in their best interests for the poor to have access to healthcare too!
10. More research into antivirals will lead to powerful new drugs, and even unforeseen drug innovations. New products. New cures?
What do you think? What do you disagree with? What would you add?