COVID-19 has torn through the fabric of our lives all over the world - with over 20M cases and nearly 1M deaths, and a global collapse in GDP that is historically unprecedented. Will it have long term impact, and what will that look like - economically, politically, and socially?
Coronavirus will impact global politics
As coronavirus spreads, political institutions and actors will inevitably react.
Coronavirus will increase isolationism and nationalism
The spread of coronavirus demonstrates the failings of globalisation - travel spread the virus, and our supply chains broke down as a result of lockdown. It will lead to a resurgence of isolationism and nationalism.
Coronavirus will normalize state involvement in all economies
As the global economy takes a nosedive, government will play an ever more important role in our economies. Deep state involvement in the 'free market' will become the new norm even in liberal economies.
Coronavirus will prove the benefits of globalisation
Our coordinated political response to the crisis, as well as our borderless scientific cooperation, and the recognition that COVID-19 touched the whole world, will prove the benefits and sense of globalisation.
China's authoritarian regime is facing intense public pressure over their handling of the coronavirus crisis. China lied about the danger and spread of the disease, and silence Li Wenliang, the doctor who tried to warn the world (and died of COVID-19). The weakness of state authoritarianism has been laid bare.
Coronavirus is causing an increase in distrust of the perceived ‘Other’. Ideas of national lockdown (eg. New Zealand) or quarantine for foreigners will gain cultural purchase, and reinforce our 'In-Group' sentiment.
Coronavirus will improve public perception of health workers
The "heroism" of global frontline workers will resonate more with the public. From doctors and nurses, through to cashiers and delivery workers, our perception of public-facing labour will change for the better, prompting a possible rethink in wage and status.
Our information system is not fit for purpose, and a global emergency demonstrates this. Social Networks are optimised to spread the shocking and sensational at speed. The panic caused by a global pandemic will test the system to breaking point.
Zero-hours contracts, and 'Gig' work had become common practice before COVID-19. The pandemic has destroyed much of that economy, in the process highlighting how vulnerable gig workers are in the absence of any workplace safety net.