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23 Mar, 2020 12:31

What will the post-coronavirus world look like when we venture from self-isolation? 

What will the post-coronavirus world look like when we venture from self-isolation? 

Self-isolated in our homes, reeling at the news Netflix has reduced the quality of its stream just when we need it most, let’s take time to speculate on what life will be like in a post-Covid-19 world; if we make it.

I could try and get into political predictions; suggest that capitalism is about to collapse, and fascism or socialism will find fertile ground in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that probably won’t be waiting outside the front door in a few weeks’ time. I won’t, though, because I have no idea.

Saying that, I predict an extremely bright economic future for the makers of toilet paper. I saw one joke online suggest that Kimberly-Clark could soon be launching a hostile takeover of Google and Apple thanks to its new reserves of cash courtesy of the global population panic-buying loo roll. At least I think it was a joke. I wonder whether there will actually be less disease over the next few years, thanks to the world on the whole having much cleaner bottoms. If you’ve got four metric tonnes of toilet paper stockpiled under your bed, you might as well use it.

Also on the economic front, what I can tell you from my vantage point in the British capital is that any pub that can survive the next few quiet months will reap the rewards.  The British nation will stampede to their local boozers and be drunk for days as soon as the government fires the starting pistol. There were still people in bars after they were warned that being there could spread the virus and put lives at risk. Imagine what will happen when everything reopens and they can go guilt-free.

Many of us are holed up in our homes with loved-ones and preparing to stay there for weeks, maybe months on end, which can lead to only three possible consequences: a spike in pregnancies, a spike in divorces or a spike in mysterious disappearances.  

Whichever one happens, it’s going to ruin Christmas this year, but the lawyers will do great, which is one thing that no pandemic can ever change.  

There is widespread speculation that this period will be a game-changer when it comes to working from home, with workers deciding that they no longer really need to go to the office at all. I’m not so sure, because it seems to me that the one way to turn people off the idea of banging out memos from their spare rooms or the kitchen table while a toddler hangs off their neck is to make them do it for three months. I suspect there will be a new-found enthusiasm for office life.

Ironically this virus, which has been dubbed the “boomer remover” by the heartless on Twitter, may well decimate older generations, but be responsible for the next baby boom generation, the Corona Generation. They will have the cleanest hands of any generation before them.

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I also expect to see scenes reminiscent of that old movie Cocoon, the one where old-age pensioners are given a new lease of life. Everyone over 60 is going to feel like they’ve been given a second chance on the other side of this pandemic.

Key workers will be expecting to receive a new level of respect after all they’ve done for the rest of us through this crisis. Nurses, cleaners and supermarket workers who have been on the frontline will be expecting healthy pay rises as thanks for their sacrifice, and I predict that they absolutely definitely will... not get one. We will soon be reminded that populations have very short memories. I heard some wag pondering whether the Covid-19 crisis will lead to a kinder society where everyone helps each other more. LOL!

What I wonder above all is whether we’ll look back at the great corona crisis and wonder if we didn’t just get a little bit carried away in the general panic. I guess we’ll never know for sure, but better safe than sorry; now go and wash your hands.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.