Despite the doomsayers in the media, the current pandemic will in time run its course. Sooner rather than later, in my uninformed opinion. What will we see 10 years from now?
Endless after-action reports will find what we did right, what we did wrong, what were overreactions, and what we should have done sooner. If nothing else, we’ll have some perspective: the death toll from the virus will turn out to be very low compared to other causes such as the flu, car wrecks, or homicide.
Chances are we’ll see other new diseases crop up. Substantially better testing and diagnostic procedures will catch them sooner. We might even see some sort of instant testing systems in place at theaters, airports, and the like, just as the rise of terrorism has made metal detectors ubiquitous today.
I would expect to see more locally-produced food in markets and restaurants. The global economy that has allowed us to get fresh produce from across the world when it’s out of season here will be much more suspect and vulnerable to new disease transport. Certainly critical drugs and other items will be produced in-country rather than elsewhere.
Online commerce and education will be much greater, but there will still be things where there’s no substitute for group activities. Traditional sports and music come to mind. However, virtual sports, online gaming, and video conferencing will grow in popularity.
One thing that won’t change: the eternal optimism of the American people. We’ve weathered far worse, and we will again. Consider the current challenge a practice drill for when something worse comes down the pike. We’re rising to this challenge, we’ll survive it, and we’ll handle the next one too.