Only a few days into our self-quarantine and naturally with the barrage of news we have exposed ourselves to it's inevitable we've been thinking. I know, I know.....a dangerous thing! But you can't help but wonder what might happen in the aftermath of this pandemic.
How we (the world) handle this outbreak and the lessons we learn, or choose to ignore, will be applied, or not, to the next outbreak. Yes there will be another virus, sooner or later, and it could be worse than this one. We better pay attention to what works and what doesn't with this outbreak.
Governments have a lot to learn on how to manage these emergencies and the needed shutdowns. There is no room for partisan politics in an emergency like this. It is not the time to make political points and try to get re-elected. Yes we need leadership but I would certainly trust the healthcare professionals before an elected politician. And this goes for both sides of the border.
Anyway, I was giving some thought to what our world would like after this huge paradigm shift we are living through. Here are a few thoughts......
- I predict a baby boom. Lots of quarantined couples with 'nothing' to do = babies born this December. Oh, and by the way expect a diaper shortage so you better start stocking up now. Just one package at a time please. We don't need a run on diapers! And has everyone forgotten about cloth diapers? We used them for our kids and they are relatively well adjusted adults.
- There will be toilet paper free options invented. Never mind the You-tube instructional videos on how to take care of business with just one sheet, I mean new technologies. Bidets will no doubt be a big seller this year. What other creative solutions will be forthcoming?
- There will be a big shift to self-reliance. Folks will be planting more and bigger gardens and there will be a resurgence in canning and preserving. Hunting and fishing will see a big increase. That's either good or bad depending on how your viewpoint.
- If you own shares in Disney, any cruise ship lines or a corporation that owns high-rise commercial buildings......sell them. I can't see how those floating Petri dishes called cruise ships will make a comeback any time soon. Buffets? Forget those. Golden Corral's days are numbered. Disneyland? Yep the kids will be disappointed but who really needs to stand in line for two hours to enjoy a two minute ride. With the money you'll save you can buy a years worth of college for the kid and save getting sick by avoiding the crowds....and the buffet.
- Once large corporations realize they can operate with employees staying home there will be no need to have them all commute into a downtown hi-rise. And for those that don't seem to be very productive working from home? Well, you need to find another job.
- It will be interesting to see how many fans flock back to the stadiums and arenas after pro sports start back up. I never could understand the attraction of squeezing into those expensive seats in the nose-bleed section only to have some drunk spill beer all over you. For the hundreds of dollars you save think of the nice big widescreen TV you can have and watch all the replays from the comfort of your home. Same with movie theaters. Does anybody actually go to those anymore? Unless you want to see a new release a month before your neighbor buys the video what's the point?
- All the kids are now at home learning from teacher produced videos and online assignments. Is this the end of stick and brick schools? Or maybe the kids don't have to go to a school every day. What about every second day, or two days one week, three days the next. We can house twice the kids in the same school. Think what the governments can do with the millions they spend on new schools that only have a life expectancy of twenty years before the neighborhood demographics change and the school is virtually empty. Yes, I realize not all families have networks and laptops for the kids to use. Seems to me this time is a great experiment to see what works and what doesn't and close the technology gaps. And while we are on schools......please start teaching the kids life skills like the importance of sanitation and health practices like hand washing. They are never too young to learn about disease transmission. Not to scare them but to prepare them for the next virus!
- So how long will it take some smart guy to get an app built that warns you if your social distance is too close? One that beeps with increasing urgency as you approach another person.
- Will building codes change to demand that outside doors open automatically when you approach so you don't have to grab a handle? What about elevator buttons? Can't we make them with proximity buttons that don't have to be touched to select a floor, or just a voice demand?
- Can we finally do away with money? I mean paper and coinage. Can we not have secure credit and debit cards and use 'tap' functionality? I know we sort of have that now but surely technology can improve to make this more secure.
Anyway, that's my list so far. It's meant only as thought provoking so please, no flame mail.
So what happens next? How long before we should feel safe to travel.....if ever? For those of us that travel by motor home or trailer, will we be heading south next fall? If not should I be reserving a site on Vancouver Island now?
I don't want to add to the panic that seems to be pervasive these days. Like I stated in the title, Sailor Jerry and I were talking but maybe I should cut back a bit on my ration and not listen to him. Besides, I need the bottle to last a while!
.......and that was Our View From Here!