A Little Hope for Beyond the Epidemic

  • A possible Return to faith in serious experts, — Tom Nichols. This hasn’t fully happened yet in some places (here’s looking at you USA..) where some people are still in denial or dismissal of the dangers we face, but there certainly seems to be an uptick in the respect for people who really bring the right scientific knowledge to bear.
  • A possible Reduction in Individualism, — Eric Klinenberg. In the dystopian version of this we may push towards more totalitarianism. However, it seems more likely that there will be more understanding that the collective of society needs safety nets and collaboration for everybody’s good.
  • A possible Opening for stronger family care, — Ai-Jen Poo. In line with the previous prediction, a recognition that a better, deeper and more inclusive healthcare system benefits everybody, not just the individual.
  • Possible Revived trust in institutions, — Michiko Kakutani. Along the lines of Tom Nichols’ prediction, our public institutions are playing a crucial role in coordinating responses to the virus. Some have done amazingly well, others have struggled, but the value is clear for all to see. The value of investing institutions should be more obvious than ever.
  • The possibility of More restraints on mass consumption, — Sonia Shah. Sonia Shah’s prediction focuses on a reduction of impact on the planet and a greater orientation towards community rather than goods. I’d take this further: in the event of long quarantines, we will all realize we miss some simple things terribly and some others not at all. From huge conferences to outrageous/ostentatious trinkets, there could be a meaningful reset. Some of this will (sadly) be economically enforced and have its own economic impacts, but some will likely come from a simple recognition of a lack of need.
  • We can no longer fly to another country,
  • Visiting your parents could mean you are the carrier of a disease which could kill them or your neighbor,
  • Supply chains cease to function,
  • etc.

Recovering ex-CEO. Thoughts are my own and don't represent my employer.

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