February 10, 2021

What a Future Coronavirus World Might Look Like

The coronavirus pandemic has nearly everyone around the world wondering what the future might look like. It is safe to say that the future will not be the same as the past, with a renewed focus on public health, international co-operation, and making global travel safe. Without delving into the political challenges these countries might face, the disease’s predicted switch from an epidemic virus to an endemic one, such as the flu, will have some fascinating consequences across the world. We expect to see four developments during the next stages of the virus and after the pandemic stage has ended.

International Vaccine Certificates  

Some countries across the world, such as Sweden and Denmark, are already planning vaccine certificates that could be used to authenticate someone’s risk of catching the disease. It is likely that there might be a thriving black market in vaccine passports, leading authorities to counteract that with biometric authentication and additional random testing to make sure that people are who they say they are and are truly inoculated against the virus.

The Rise of QR Codes

QR codes that can be downloaded onto and scanned by a smartphone while containing useful information will be on the rise. This is already seen as a safer replacement for restaurant menus as well as a way to quickly process people through places such as border queues at airports and large-scale events. A digital passport will likely be downloaded onto phones and processed by using these QR codes, which can also store other information, such as travel history and self-health assessments.

More Full-Time Remote Work 

There is a growing sentiment among a fair number of people who have shifted to remote work due to not being able to go into the office that they don’t want to return once everything has shifted back to normal. It is likely that employers will see the benefit of allowing their employees to have this flexibility and make it a more common option. Nonetheless, suppose someone is moving from an expensive city, such as Los Angeles, to a cheaper one, like Austin. In that case, big employers will be likely to shift their pay packets to reflect the relative difference in cost of living. Furthermore, large conference events may remain digital-only, especially as people have had a chance to reflect on their effects on the climate.

A Roaring 20s?

A post-pandemic world would not be all doom and gloom. One of the most fruitful times in the 20th century in terms of commerce and culture was the roaring 20s, which saw wealth spread all over America, the rise of great authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway, and the acceleration of the modernist era. When the coronavirus ends, some experts predict that there might be a renewed desire for increased social interaction and collaboration, leading to a new golden age. Let us just hope this one doesn’t end with another economic crash.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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