After the Pandemic Ends.
Posted on March 20, 2020
Eventually this pandemic will pass. That is a certainty. And it should be obvious, there will be blame, finger pointing, revisionist history, and mourning. We can only hope that the mourning is kept to a minimum. Yet, we will have learned things, more than you might suspect right now. Here are a few I think that will top the list.
The Obvious ones.
1.) Bureaucracy is a major hindrance when fast action is needed. The Deep State, The Swamp, whatever you want to call it, bureaucracy is what it is. Bureaucrats may be Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or even Socialist. Yet their loyalty is to the bureaucracy, not their Political Party , or even an Administration. When Covid-19 raised it’s ugly head, the current administration sidestepped the bureaucracy once again. How this plays out, may be a litmus test for our bureaucracy. But, don’t hold your breath for a slimmer government.
2.) We are going to find out how efficient our Healthcare system actually is. And if this pandemic takes a turn for the worst, how well they can handle it. If they do well, then calls for the ACA, or Universal Healthcare will just turn into murmurs. The private sector will get a much needed boost of confidence, and hopeful we will get our healthcare system in order. If it collapses? We will have Universal Healthcare, and quick.
3.) If, and yes this is a big if, the pandemic passes in a short time, the economy will come roaring back. Not only will businesses that survived do better, new opportunities for those that failed will crop up. We might see a fundamental shift in our economy, and way of life. If this pandemic drags on, till August, or later? The word Recession will be replaced with Depression. And no amount of stimulus will save it.
4.) With Covid-19, the Chinese Virus, or Wuhan Virus, or whatever you want to call it, the geopolitical fallout is going to hurt. Actually, it’s a little scary what is coming out of China. China is making claims that the virus originated in the United States, and not only that, they are hinting, if not insinuating, that this virus was some sort of biological weapon. As absurd as those charges are, it is doubtful China will find solace in future trade with the United States. Look for more companies coming back to the USA, and our dependency on Chinese trade to evaporate. While this may be prudent for us, the Chinese will not take this well, and this will spell trouble for years to come.
The Not So Obvious Ones.
5.) Global Warming! Oh come on! Don’t be surprised! For years we’ve been hearing about the coming catastrophe of Climate Change. During this pandemic, factories have been reducing CO2 output if not stopping it altogether. A map of China before and after the pandemic hit are very telling. Yet, what will this pandemic mean for overall CO2 levels? There might be a slight drop, or at least a status quo from last year. Yet if the numbers go up? That will raise questions. If they drop dramatically due to the pandemic? Raise even more questions. Either way? Watch the numbers for CO2 emissions.
6.) Remember in number 3 I said a fundamental shift in our economy? That could happen. With the pandemic, more companies have been forced to have their employees work from home. Many people may like the idea, companies even more. If the company can save money by having their employees work offsite, they may take more advantage of this. Then there are drive thru outlets. This was becoming a thing prior to the pandemic, but many chains, and even small businesses might find this to their advantage. Delivery services may surge. Not to mention those industries, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, may start being produced in the United States, spawning new companies. 3-D printers have been trying their hat at making ventilators, a much needed device for this pandemic, but usually not in high demand. Companies who can do quick turn arounds? They might find themselves in demand.
7.) We will need to invest in a better internet. With millions home, children who are bored and the weather not cooperating, many people have turned to streaming services for entertainment. Questions of how much the internet can take have been cropping up, and even after the pandemic, we all know that demand will always be increasing. The time to reorganize and restructure our internet services will be upon us.
8.) We won’t learn our lesson. Despite this pandemic, Ebola, Swine Flu, and countless others that have come before this one, we won’t be prepared for the next one. This really isn’t a failure of an one particular Administration or Government. Part of it is human nature, our hubris. And part is because we have no idea what the next pandemic will be. We may have better protocols in place, better response times, but still…we just don’t know. If Covid-19 had the same lethality of Ebola, the world would be in a lot of hurt by now. If you think back to the HIV epidemic, a disease that took a long time to kill people, and couple that with Covid-19 ability to pass along undetected, infecting hundreds, before it shows up? Such a pandemic would devastate humanity. We would be faced with a disease that could lay dormant in us for years before it exhibited lethal symptoms. In the world of virology, being vigilant is not just practical, it is a necessity.
I hope we beat the curve, flatten it like a skunk on some dusty backroad. And I hope the Malaria related drugs work. And that we develop a vaccine for this virus. That we learn more, and are able to take better steps to prevent a resurgence. In the mean time, we’ll stay at home, run out to the store and hope bread is on the shelves, and suck up the streaming services to the max. I wish everyone well, and hope to see you on the other side of this mess. While you hear the bad, there are more stories of good out there. And in the end, we realize that humans, messed up and neurotic as we are, really care for each other.