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The universal new virus, which may be with us for more months, holds us in our homes, reorganizes the relationship with the government, the outside world, and even with one another. Some changes these experts expect to see may sound foreign or troubling in the coming months or years, but it does not mean there are not places to visit after the pandemic.
However, critical moments also give opportunity: advanced and versatile technical use, less polarization, a renewed love of the outside, and other simple pleasures of life. We cannot tell what will transpire precisely, so here is our best guide to uncertain ways the world will transform.
Patriotism has long been equated with the military. But it is not possible to fire a virus. Our patriots after this time won’t be conscripts, mercenary, or men on the moon; they are most probably going to be our physicians, nurses, pharmacists, scientists, educators, wardens, employee stores, employers, and small business owners.
After all these experiences, we will perhaps consider their offering as true patriotism, welcome our doctors and nurses, and give thanks and say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ For the new class of people who sacrifice their health and life, we will give them assured health insurance and company discounts and create statues and holidays. Maybe we will begin to recognize patriotism as cultivating the community’s health and life instead of blowing up another’s community. Perhaps the de-militarisation of US patriotism and group love would be one of the advantages of this terrible mess.
The coronavirus pandemic symbols the end of our desire for hyper-individualism and consumer culture. We could turn to authoritarianism. We now see that the social organization market-based models fail because the action that seeks to self-interest makes this crisis so much riskier than required.
When this end, we will form our policies and make significant new investments in public health products and public services. We would probably be less community-based. The pandemic of coronavirus would cause tremendous discomfort and suffering. But it will push us to re-examine who we are and what we value, so that we can, in the longer term, rediscover our own better version.
COVID-19 is going to sweep through many of the artificial hurdles to online movement. Not everything will be online, of course. However, strong legacy players, mostly operating in partnership with vigilant police, have slowed down in many aspects of our lives to use truly usable online devices. It is a long-overdue improvement; for example, Medicare allowed telemedicine’s billing, allowing more healthcare providers to use the same resources that others used every day to communicate, such as Skype, Facetime, and emails.
The trauma of a pandemic will, in the best scenario, force society to accept limitations on mass consumer culture as a reasonable price to pay to defend itself against future contagions as well as against climate catastrophes. For decades, we have sated our outsized appetites by encroaching on an ever-expanding swath of the earth with our human activities, pushing wild animals to crowd into remaining scraps of habitat in closer proximity to ours.