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Monday, April 13, 2020


So...Last issue we interviewed folks from around the world, asking them how COVID-19 affects their lives today, and how they are coping with that change. We recorded perceptions and were surprised at how much we have in common with people on the far side of the world.

For this article, we asked 7 people, also from a global audience, to describe what they think the “New Normal” will be like AFTER the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.  Will we return to the same life we had prior to this crisis? Or will that be a defining moment in Earth’s history, forever changing the way we relate to each other and to our planet?   Talk a walk with me as we explore the possible long-term changes we can expect as a result of our shared experiences these last many weeks.

Those who graciously agreed to speak with us included:

sayaka Solano – Japan
eleee90 – Russia
Wakizashi Yoshikawa – Serbia 
Lisisme Dubrovna – Canada
“Q” Quertina – Belgium 
Zip Quandry – Australia
Molder Flatley – USA
Anonymous – USA

Josh Bellic (JB):  We have seen an increase in “Family Time” as parents and Children are staying at home.  What long-term effect will COVID-19 have on families in the future?

eleee90:  Parents will be taking more care of their children. 

Wakizashi Yoshikawa: Yes, and I am not sure how disciplined children will be when parents are away

Lis: I think kids need discipline and supervision

: They get to do the things they didn't have time for for years...spend time with their family for once...even when its between 4 more rat race. Society is demanding...People live hectic lives, but not right now, as we all go back to basic.     I hope it will change the mindset of the world ...and people will value whats really important like family

Zip Quandry I think we will appreciate family and the small things they do for us much more.  

JB:  How will COVID affect Education? Do you think brick and mortar Universities will become a thing of the past as students elect more and more to take their courses online?  

Lis: It may affect the University system….especially considering student loans

Waki: I'm not sure about that Josh, as it would require 180 turn in education. And I don't see that kids can keep their attention as they do in brick and mortar classes

Lis: I think the kinder to high school will not change because parents have to work and they need those institutions to babysit and terach their kids while they work.  Right now is different because not even the parents can go out

Q̱: my son is 15 and cant go to school but he likes the home study.  It makes him focus better, less distraction. He has ADHA, so he is easily distracted. I wouldn’t mind if they do go to more on-line education in schools.  It solves the shortage of teachers since can tape the lessons and the students can watch those. And it solves traffic jams and kids getting into accidents, since they study at home.  

Zip: More people will stay working from home, education will be highly valued (particularly for younger students whose parents have been teaching them and finding it more challenging than they ever imagined).  

Molder Flatley: I think businesses and schools will become more well versed in methods of educating people without it being classroom or face to face centric.

JB:  What about Travel?  DO you think the COVID-19 travel restrictions will affect travel after the restrictions are lifted?

eleee90:  Maybe governments will take measurements early in case of a suspect virus or something like that

Waki: The issue is that when leading countries are fucked up, usually the smaller one (or under developed if you want) will suffer the most.

Lis: It will take a long long time before anyone wants to visit Italy or China or Spain.  Maybe some third world countries will realize they have a lot of opportunity in tourism 

Zip: i think travel will take a long time to recover and people will do domestic travel more than international. I don't know if the cruise industry will ever recover….and even airplane travel will change.  I think more business will be done online - no more flying overseas for meetings. Its costly and unnecessary as people are learning now with their effective online meetings

JB:  What changes do you expect in the areas of Social Interactions?

sayaka Solano: I think people will continue to use soap when you wash your hands. Wash between your fingers really well too. I always do it.  I don't have a disinfectant spray. I do use a mask now. People should wash their hands, and wear a Flu mask as well. In Japan, not many people shake hands, so no real change will happen there. 

eleee90: In a post-Covid-19 world I think people will always be scared the first time we all go out.  They will pay attention to washing hands, not standing too close with other people etc, or just staying out of areas with a lot of people inside, like a bar, etc. But since the memory is short, they will soon forgot do to do these things.  I’m especially interested in knowing what happens to teenagers. Will they pay attention? Or they will they suddenly start going back to clubs etc?

Lis: I think there might be an awareness of global dependence on each other.  The Russians are helping out a lot of nations... sending doctors and supplies.  China just sent thousands of respirators to NYC. They are as cautious about social distancing as we are.  I don't think much is going to change except in the immediate future. Basically, everyone will forget and go back to how it was before.  History never teaches people anything.

: I for one, am a hermit. Staying at home isn’t hard for me.   Some good will come out of it when its all over. People are forced to ground themselves.  But I am afraid the way we live now will be the new norm till we have a vaccine. It’s all craziness right now. I have been in isolation in RL for years.  This is my social life. I am glad we don't have to cancel events in SL and we don't need social distance here.  

Zip: I think life as we know it was killed by the virus and we will come out of this very different people. I think our values will have been changed. What we appreciate, what we do and how we respond will be forever effected.  We will appreciate the cup of coffee with a friend more than our fancy sports cars. Online socializing will be more popular. But the one positive thing will be a less wasteful, greedy and capitalist people. Unfortunately, while this is resetting we will see massive crime and fear

JB:  Will COVID-19 precautions have any long-term impact on the environment?

Lis: There will be a lot more global recognition of the negative impact we have on the planet.  It is a robust but fragile system and we need to protect it a lot more or there will be more pandemics.  Some people are very undisciplined and will return quickly to bad waste habits. Using toilet paper for target practice - I saw that on TicTok.  Seriously? The earth gets time to heal, the air is clearing...the ozone layers are healing. It will be a shame when all gets back to normal. It will be contaminated again real soon.

: People need to be more aware and stop stressing our planet. We should be reducing our impact all year round. This is like a wake up call.  Our world is vulnerable. We make ourselves dependent on everyone, because that’s the system and its how the system works. Now is the time to reform.

Zip: I think the planet is resetting. People will waste less and love more, and i think this eventually will have a positive impact on our planet.  Already the pollution has eased in some parts of the world

JB:  How about economically?  Any changes predicted there?

sayaka: I think the supermarkets will reopen. We won’t starve...we won’t die of hunger.

Lis: We have already seen that the world has had to resort to online shopping.  This is something that will continue to expand. This is exactly where many of us old timers in SL hoped SL would go. I think production will return or even speed up.

Waki: I don't think the online shopping will last too long after the pandemic ends. It is mostly  impulsive buying which I think will settle down when people realize that they are buying things that they don't need.  I don't think solving COVID will affect the economy that much. I mean yeah, economy will go down the drain, it already is, but I don't think that it will change our way of living too much.  Humans have an extremely short attention span, and as soon they are "oh I lived" don't think much will change.  

Zip: This is going to result in an economic reset too, but i find it difficult to talk about because i don't have the brain for economics.  But i think the very rich will not be so rich and that small business will become more successful if they are creative with how they market.  People will be wary of others for a long time and it will impact retail greatly. People will continue to shop online and trips to the mall will be a thing of the past.  Countries will start producing more of their own products and stop relying on other countries for importing what they produce themselves even if it is more costly.

JB:  How will governments change?

Anonymous:  There are lots of people making predictions, and a lot of them are hoping this whole emergency can be used to make laws that they want but the people really don't.  Governments have taken on a lot of power and taken away a lot of rights and they wont want to give that back and it will be a political struggle to get them back. For instance, in Michigan, why can't landscapers work? They are outdoors.. away from everyone.  People can walk and ride bikes.. so why not landscapers. And why can't people golf? How is that dangerous? I live near a lake where have boats. The governor says you can't use your boat? WTF?

Anonymous: Most government offices are shut.  The employees, paid with tax money, are getting full pay.. .teachers too.  But they put the people who pay their wages out of business, like me. This isn’t killing any more people than die from the flu every year, and the total mortality rate for all causes in the US is actually lower than normal right now.  "The first casualty of war is truth"  

Zip: I think with all the spending of our government we will be in a very poor state for quite some time, so we will have to be more thrifty and creative.

Molder: I think eventually things will recover and we will have a better plan for future pandemics. People will see true numbers and have a better perspective on what really happened.  Eventually people will open their eyes and see the media did very little to do anything positive and created an unhealthy wave of emotions that do nothing to make the situation any better controlled in the future. The media will dredge up everything they can to create another panic.

So there you have it folks.  Current expectations of a future reality.   We’ll be back again after things settle down and we get this thing licked.  We will do another article then, checking to see how accurate we were on our predictions.  In the mean time, Stay Safe...Stay Healthy...and Stay Home!


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