Coronavirus Shutdown: Will We Return to Normal?
Humans resist change. We crave the illusion of control. When events such as WWII, 9/11 or the 2008 market crash happen, people are left to wonder whether they will get the “old life” back. Truth is, nothing really ever returns back to normal. Life may look similar on the other side of this pandemic, but there will be change. COVID-19 is a harsh reminder of our true lack of control.
America emerged as a transformed, fundamentally different country post WWII. For the United States, the war jogged the economy from the grip of the Great Depression. The US dollar became the global financial standard. The horrors and realities of war turned an entire generation of boys into battle-tested men. Fashion, education and the governing philosophy turned on its heel.
Will we see drastic changes akin to WWII? What will change? Will people be different? The normal prediction of a post-coronavirus world is a change in buying habits, education choices and healthcare preparedness. The underlying cultural changes will be the toughest to predict. There may be sectors of the economy which never recover, creating new paths for emerging industries. The nuclear family structure may be bolstered by a slowdown of our high-paced, individualistic lives. Only hindsight will show the full extent to which our culture, economy and personal lives have been affected.
One thing we know for sure: the person who is willing to accept a new set of ground rules can become a leader for a new era. Look for opportunity amidst the chaos of change.
PC: Detroit Public Library Digital Collection.