Forward, Backward

I have a bad habit of trying to predict the future. Bad, because it can make me anxious and depressed despite the fact that, when it comes to the present and past, I’m more of a glass half full kind of person. I suppose that’s because the past and present can’t change, but the future can so there’s potential for disaster.

There have been a lot of posts on Facebook and Instagram predicting wonderful effects from Covid19 and isolation lockdowns, but I am skeptical. The post-Covid consequences could be bad as well as good. So here are some predictions:

Some people will value their relationships more, some relationships will end.

Some people will continue avoiding hugging and kissing, some will resent it if those close to them don’t.

There’ll be a doubling down on the activities that were restricted, good and bad, once lockdown ends. Gambling, drinking, parties, shopping, eating out, etc. will be indulged in as if to make up for lost time.

Op shops and landfill will be overwhelmed as a result of people cleaning out their shed, wardrobe, whatever, while in iso. Feeling virtuous, those people will go out and buy more stuff.

Helping the economy will be used as an excuse for a whole lot of decisions at both the personal and political levels. Some of those decisions will be bad.

Covid won’t be a big leveller in society, and in fact will only make things worse in places afflicted by poverty and inequality. But it may unite some who did not receive support during the lockdown, like casual workers.

The excess of oil will be used to make more crappy polyester clothes and plastic stuff. The incentive to develop technology to turn plastic back into oil for power will dry up.

It won’t take very long for air and water to become polluted again. People will wonder how the opportunity to fix these things was lost, not realising that they only happened because people were forced to do nothing, not that they were forced to do something. Doing nothing doesn’t lead to lasting change.

Stupid people will continue being stupid. Some dangerously so.

But more people will continue to be kind, having experienced the benefits. Community spirit will have taken root in new places, and grown in others.

Some people will discover that growing your own food is harder than they realised, but some will find they have a new passion. With health benefits.

Ditto for cooking.

There’ll be a boom in fad diets to deal with iso kilos. Maybe even a new “Iso Diet” being flogged by some celebrity or influencer.

People will realise that being fit and cooking healthy meals takes up lot of time. Time that many don’t have. Some will continue exercising and eating well, some won’t and have more sympathy for others who don’t have the time.

Most people will return to working in offices. Many of those people will have realised that working from home doesn’t work for them. Some will realise that it does, and alter their career path to suit.

Ditto for kids and schools.

Video conferencing and online learning will experience a dive in popularity once it’s no longer the only link between people, but will have a significant boost overall because people have realised it’s not as hard as it seemed and has significant benefits – in particular being cheaper and faster than travelling in person.

A billionty plague diaries will have been written, but only a tiny percentage will be even vaguely interesting to read as we all experienced this in an unextraordinary way compared to everyone else – but that won’t matter really, because the main benefit was to the writer.

There will be virus spikes and mini shutdowns and hopefully it’ll evolve into just another flu strain that will ‘only’ kill thousands each year. We’ll look back and recount what we were doing when during the Covid19 shutdown, and sigh at a new generation that doesn’t appreciate how how lucky they are to have old folk around telling their stories yet again.

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