Most people know that I’m a cynic, or is that a skeptic (?), and that part of me is only being amplified each day concerning COVID-19.
I don’t think there will be an effective (meaning efficacious) vaccine until 3Q2022 at the earliest. That means, if that time period is correct, that society won’t get back to pre-COVID-19 ‘normality’ until six months later sometime in 2Q2023.
Flattening the curve does not mean the virus disappears magically. Keeping the curve flattened does not mean the virus disappears magically. There is no pixie dust, magic wand, or wishes that will be granted to make the virus disappear. Only an effective treatment or vaccine will give society the wherewithal to open up the entire economy.
I’m not smart enough to compare COVID-19 with the seasonal flu. Sorry, but I just don’t have that level of brain power. Seasonal Flu has a vaccine – it might only be X% effective but at least there is a vaccine. COVID-19? Not so much. No vaccine. No treatment.
But what the hell, let’s all forget that every one of us is a potential vector to get someone else infected, hospitalized, and wind up dead. It’s the responsibility of every one else to wear a mask, wear gloves, and stay 6 feet apart but not yours, right bucko ? You don’t have to take any responsibility because it infringes on your individual freedom when you leave your home.
Might suburban and urban areas get more population from those who are now living in cities? Cities have always been a petri dish of germs. During a pandemic, the infection risk in cities is being amplified.
Nursing homes, Long Term Care facilities, Retirement Communities have illustrated that they are also, unfortunately, repositories of high percentages of populations at risk of infection and death from COVID-19.
The office cube and private offices will probably come storming back. Could anyone actually do their work in the ‘open office’ layout? Really?
Lawsuits against companies will only grow (through a partial opening of the economy until many years after the economy has opened up ‘completely’) as plaintiff’s attorneys easily find plenty of employees willing to sue their employers for getting sick from the virus or from anxiety or from depression or from _____________ (you fill in the blank) or from any combination of these and other ailments. This will be so very helpful to opening up the US Economy or keeping it open. So very helpful !
Although this might motivate employers to use more technology solutions or robots (or both) to replace employees.
Delivery services will continue to grow. Whether they can become profitable and these firms can sustain that profitability is unknown. (Will Amazon acquire one or more delivery services? Seems very natural to order delivery through Alexa.)
Large gatherings of people – music concerts, plays, theatre, college and university lectures, at-home parties of more than 10 people, church choirs, sports events (unless there is no fan attendance and the athletes agree to be quarantined before / after each game), many diners in a restaurant – all seem to be a relic of the past (until an effective treatment or vaccine is identified AND given to as many people around the world even those ‘worthy to be studied at MIT for not wanting this vaccine’ people).
US Federal (and International) Governments may have to throw a great deal of money into State, City, and Town governments to keep local government infrastructure, all manner of First Responders, and other ‘essential workers’ protected at work and provided ‘reasonable’ annual compensation (whatever ‘reasonable’ means) until some agreed-upon level of ‘near normalcy’ returns.
Companies will have to decide when and how to support their employees, their customers, their prospective customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders through mobile apps. But there is no pixie dust that will quickly transform paper-based or legacy-based operating systems (that do not currently support mobile apps) into being able to support mobile apps.
Will COVID-19 accelerate the ability of companies to conduct commerce, including service, using mobile solutions? I doubt it.
I assume the ‘air’ has come out of Airbnb but maybe not. Personally, I would trust the large hotel chains (Marriott, Four Seasons, Omni, Hyatt, …) to invest in and take more efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in their properties than homeowners who provide their room(s) through Airbnb but that’s me.
Similarly, would any person really feel that safe using Uber or Lyft? Really? Better you than me.