The world post Covid-19: what might we expect?

Coronavirus: after the crisis, perhaps in a not-too-distant future, what world shall we live in?

Anthropological studies suggest that 42% of the population aspires to life-change after the crisis into which the virus has plunged us. For 38% this crisis even represents the end of our model of society, and a fundamental collapse of our civilisation.

The social anthropologist Fanny Parise submits two scenarios to Huffington Post (in French) . Be warned, they are very unusual.

I gave up when I saw that the opinions of those of over 70 were being ignored.



I have thought for some time that 3D printing is following some of the same development pattern as 2D. Remember when there was a print shop (‘Prontaprint’ etc) in every high street? Now we have 3D print shops springing up in every town. 2D printing then moved into many homes - we all bought printers, many of us print/scan/copy/etc machines - and a bit online. I wonder if many physical products, spare parts, etc will become just virtual instructions for home or hub printing.

There is also clearly a move to local and home energy generation, and it’s pretty obvious I think that long physical supply chains and personal travel are going to become much more expensive - many have calculated that it is only the irresponsible over-use of fossil fuels that enabled the whole industrial model of capitalism to work.

There are equally obviously many manifestations of dissatisfaction with this model among consumers - not only for political/environmental reasons, but simply because - for example - local seasonal organic food us seen as better than highly processed industrial fodder.

So even apart from the ‘social distancing’ angle, I’m inclined to think a more localised world is on the way.


More working from home, more on-line shopping, less travel, countries will become more self sufficient both in terms of food production and certain manufactured goods which currently come from the Far East, prices for many day to day products will rise.

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“Bailouts should all be linked with clear conditions that the money will be used for a green economy and a green society. The very least that should be done is to ascertain that none of our commitments are used to harm our climate goals” says Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the Green Deal at the European commission

Makes sense to me. It’s the perfect time to support companies that work sustainably, and encourage other companies to change direction and become sustainable. No public money should be used to prop up un-environmentally friendly companies to enable them to continue damaging the environment

Whilst we all agree that we should be working for a greener environment, we are not yet there and we need a transition period. Cutting off all that support at one go would be foolhardy.
If Orange cannot mend our 'phone which has been out of order since the 15th Decembe,. who will be left without services. They now say that they will start in mid May!

Yes of course - but a transition period is about working towards implementing something that you have made a commitment on. It’s not about putting off making the commitment.
(There seems to be the same confusion with Brexit, a lot of people are saying “we haven’t left yet”. We have left. We’re working towards implementation.)

That’s because there will be fewer over 70s around :grinning:

This issue came up for my wife and me. She is ‘stuck’ in England for want of a do-able itinerary to France. I sent her the new Attestation form required of all residents returning to France from abroad, which has two parts, one for Third Country Nationals, the second for EU Nationals.

I suggested that the former was the more appropriate than the latter, as we left the EU "on the Boris Bong’ at 2300 hrs GMT on 31 December 2020, notwithstanding the concessions of the Withdrawal Agreement. My wife disagreed, and Connexion seemed to uphold her view.

I’m still unsure, but my wife is more often right about stuff than I am. Does anyone have a definitive view on the matter? This is the link to the cross- border Attestation in English as supplied by Attestation_deplacement_International_EN-1.pdf

During the transition period British citizens are considered to be EU nationals.


In almost every way apart from voting in local or European elections Brits remain as de facto EU citizens until the end of the transition period (currently 31st December 2020).


I would say use the part for EU nationals because until the end of transition Brits are still being treated as EU nationals, So if your wife is a British citizen she still has the right to freedom of movement, which I assume is what matters in this context.


Well, you know what I feel about people who voted for Brexit. They haven’t the intelligence to follow the progression of leaving.

I’ve long been convinced that we need to radically change our economies and lifestyles, but have felt that the possible consequences in terms of social disruption are enough to frighten anybody (not that they would be as bad as those resulting from climate/ecological breakdown, but they could be more immediate and intense).

The corona crisis, however, has made me wonder if radical change without terrible social disruption is after all possible. If we can shut down whole sections of the economy and support people through the resulting unemployment, etc, then why not take the same approach to environmental and other problems?


I hop against hope that there are enough who share your wisdom and far-sightedness, and possessed of enough guts, gumption and sheer ‘heft’ as well, to see this agenda gain traction.

I have some confidence that enough people want radical change to grow the momentum and the enthusiasm to achieve it.

Do we really want to return to the pseudo-hedonism of wear-and-throw-away clothing, a new more bulbously ugly and poison-spewing vehicle for its ‘new plates’ every six months, and our daughters’ expensive education squandered on a career in a gold-chip public relations conglomerate to further such depravities ?

If the normal we are supposed to hanker for is that, I’d rather we stayed in lock down until we worked out a better future, minus the deaths for which the virus may be only incidentally responsible.



An interesting example of what I consider the existential aspect of the C19 epidemic, as it affects ‘the economy’

“…already lost €448 million so far?” Where is that €448 million at the moment? In the bank accounts of the tourists who did not come? In the bank accounts of the companies that laid them off? In the banks that foreclosed on the companies that closed their doors?

Did that money ever ‘exist’? If it did not, the question arises, “Where does the money come from?” If it does exist, where is it? If it does exist, who has it? The only use for money, in the end, is to be spent. Money does indeed make the world go round.

So, has the €448 million been ‘lost’? Or simply been deferred?

What is to be done with all the businesses that have closed their doors because customers are forbidden by law to patronise them? Banks lend money to make money. If thousands of businesses cease to pay their loan finance, does it benefit the banks to ask for the keys back? Will utilities cut off electricity, water, gas, comms to business and homes? If they do, how does it benefit anyone?

There’s a lot of deep thought required to work out how the economies of the world actually function, at bottom. The question, “Where does the money come from?” is a far more pertinent question than “Where did the virus come from”

Someone with experience in the field has offered this


There’s a famous Spanish short that might interest you…

I think you can get the gist even if you don’t speak Spanish - the point is that the $100 holding deposit on the hotel room at the start enables everybody in the village to pay off their debts, even though it’s returned unused at the end.

As an aside, Jane, if your phone line is down, what are you using to access the internet?

A Sim card in our router.

Geoff, that’s a gem. Gt music! To me it emphasises the question - where does the money come from? And that money does indeed make the world go round, when it is in circulation. At the mo, those £/$/€/¥ are not being circulated.

It’s interesting to consider that the people thru’ whom that $100 bill circulated ended up with balances at their suppliers of $0.00. So the cycle of debt would resume as soon as one of them acquired goods or services from one of the others.

Would it benefit anyone in the chain to call in the debt of a creditor? Only the cattle rancher, perhaps, because he would be the only one with enough outlets for his ‘products’ to sustain the hit of a defaulting creditor.

HM Treasury and its equivalents in every country acts as a bank, paying for the requirements of society, physical and social, from ‘deposits’ paid in by the working population and businesses.

Hundreds of millions in income tax, NI contributions, sales taxes, duty are not going into government treasuries. Yet it’s these same gov treasuries that are promising handouts for lost wages, help for businesses of … hundreds of millions.

How does it work when whole economies are creditors and their income falls ? As my old mum [who never borrowed a penny in her life] used to say “Who’se going to pay the man?”

Note that the hotelier is seen in filling in a football pools coupon when the gringo walks in.