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How will (or should) the post-COVID-19 world be different?

Is this the ‘new normal’, or after coronovirus will things go back to the way they were?

In what ways do people think the world will or should be different?

I’ll suggest… Supermarkets should have systems in place that if sales of a product exceed normal levels by a specified amount (say, 20%) that automatic limits would kick in. So, for example, if toilet paper sales suddenly spike 20% above normal, a 2-pack per customer limit would slide into place.
Maybe this would deter panic buying and help ensure there’s enough stock for everyone.

Another one… I think working from home will become much more widespread, especially remote work practices that don’t first require you to go into the office and grab a laptop.

History shows a major natural or man made event that society quickly returns to pre-event conditions quickly. There are exceptions such as terriorism where measures (by government) which impact on all of society are implemented…but most other events the main impact is creating memories and historical interest.


I think that we will see an acceleration of the move to a cashless society.

Many shops are now only accepting card payments as they are aware that banknotes and coins can easily transmit bacteria and viruses.

I personally haven’t carried any cash on me at all for at least 10 years now and everything is now billed to my debit card.

There is also the fact that if I lose a cash filled wallet anyone of low moral standards can simply spend all that cash.

With a debit card a quick call to my bank and that debit card can be frozen/cancelled and a new one issued.

There is some walk back and clarification about that.

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I see what you are getting at but under normal circumstances such a limit would just be an aggravation for all concerned. There are reasons why you might need an abnormal amount of some product sometimes. Why should you have to explain that you just moved into a new house and have to stock it with everything, or a dozen other possibilities? Why should the other customers have to wait while you explain? Why should the vendor inhibit a normal sale?

You may be right there. Some things that have limited the practice are the availability of hardware/software and doubts by employers that it will work for them. Now if they are forced to give it a trial some may find that it works just fine and they have the facilities all set up and so continue to make it available after the bug is gone.


Sorry, to be clear, I didn’t mean on an individual basis. I meant on a location basis (e.g store or postcode). If everyone in the whole postcode starts stocking up on toilet paper (unless it’s a new suburb) there’s probably something going on.

Terrorism’s a good model because it has changed us. We now accept scanners at the airport as normal, and don’t really notice the extra time we have to spend queuing to go through that process. Will ‘fever scanners’ become normal before you we can enter public places like supermarkets, banks, government service centres and so on?

For the record I have never claimed that you can catch coronavirus from using cash.

However it is a measure many shops are deploying as cash is less hygienic and more likely to transmit bacteria and virus particles.

For the same reason we are all now advised to not shake hands with others and maintain social distancing to minimize bacterial and virus transmission.

I hope I had not implied that and if it seemed that way, it was not intended.

True, but there are other problems removing cash from society, discussed in another topic.

Are there credible studies that attribute serious health consequences from handling money, and should that be the only or main test of continued use of physical money?


Highly unlikely. As Peter Doherty has alluded, once immunity has heen built up in the population coronavirus will not be a long term issue.

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Hm but think bigger. There’ll be more viruses in the future. Will communities demand ‘fever scanners’ to prevent their emergence and spread?

Employers are facing this problem right now. Lots of people needing to work from home, and lack of infrastructure to cope with the demand.

While he said it is unlikely, the risk is that the virus mutates.

That said, in two years I think we will probably be back in (largely) pre-COVID-19 days. There may be more people working from home, there is likely to be a lot more government and private debt, and many businesses will have vanished forever - but other than that we will be back to business as usual.

I would compare current events to the Spanish 'Flu of 1918 (also a year of great international mobility), but there are just too many differences. Regardless, the world recovered from both the 'flu and the Great War relatively quickly - with the exception of the losing side and their crippling reparations. Similarly, the 15 years following WWII were boom years in most countries - even those that had been almost destroyed by the war, once they were able to rebuild.

There will always be potential for another pandemic like this, but I suspect that - as our government has been saying - this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Yes it could mutate, but recent and other ‘new’ coronaviruses haven’t …MERS and SARS which were also from non-human animal sources. These tend to build up then diminish.

Other common coronavirus such as the common cold mutate frequently and why humans get colds frequently as the immunity response from one, provides little to the next.

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Each time you see a branching on the left graph, that is a mutation leading to a slightly different variant of the virus.

All viruses mutate slightly from time to time and experts in the field indicate that the COV-19 may mutate slightly approximately 2 times per month. These mutations does not necessary mean that different forms of the virus is formed (think each generation of a human where DNA is a mix of both parents…while the child is genetically different from both parents (contains DNA sequences of both), the child is not a new variant of the human population). The same applies to the flu which mutates significantly quicker than COVID-19…and variants can take a season or more to change significantly, even though there has been many generations of the flu virus infecting many of the world’s population each year.

If viruses changed significantly between generations, the potential benefit of using vaccinations would be limited, particularly temporally (maybe weeks or months rather than a flu season).

Experts also indicate that there are only two strains of the COV-19 infecting the world’s population.

The WHO has also indicated that "World Health Organization insists that “there is no evidence that the virus has been changing”

This article presents information on the two stains which are currently rampant in the world…"

More information can also be found on the WHO website in relation to the virus and whether slight mutations has resulted in significant change to the virus. The WHO website on the COVID-19 can be found here:

There has been some doomsday type media reports about (potential for) mutation of COVID-19. These reports add to the panic and concern of individuals. There have also been viral posts circulating which are based on unfounded information.

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The source of the speculation. Open to whether it is reliable and importance relative to where Australia is at. It seems to focus on calling for immediate actions and how we get thru the crisis than post crisis, what the world will be. It suggests isolation and shutdowns are good responses.


Either way, we know there will be viruses in the future and there will be pandemics in the future. In a way it’s immaterial which virus it is. We need to be prepared to deal with them - and the community response.


There will always be viruses…but whether there is COVID-19 in future is questionable based on current information from the WHO and expert virologists. This may however change as the season continues.

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Most of our common diseases (viral and bacterial) can be traced back to animal origins. There is a school of thought that in fact all of them came from animals and our habit of domesticating animals for food and living and/or working closely with them will provide a constant supply on new diseases as mutations occur that enable cross over from animals or greater rates of transmission etc.

This is on top of the perennials like colds and flu. We have to get new flu vax every year because it is constantly mutating, nonetheless most of us retain some immunity from previous years. It is only a matter of time and chance before we get another 1918-19 strength flu due to the existing version mutating at several locations at once leaving us with almost no resistance to it.

Add to this the growth of megacities where tens of millions exchange germs with each other daily. Add to this the speed and frequency of modern international transport and you have the perfect recipe for new diseases spreading around the world very quickly, too quickly to be stopped by border closing as it is currently envisaged it seems.

There are some diseases that are much more transmissible and others that have much higher fatality rates than flu or COVID19. The Black Death took 30-60% of the population of Europe in the 14th century. The consequences of this depopulation went on for decades. This was not unique.

So what will a post COVID19 world be like? One where our leaders actually listen to the experts who have been predicting all of this for decades. One where they don’t hide what is going on for fear of looking bad while hoping they can get it under control. One where detailed plans are ready to go at a moments notice. One where the lessons of this pandemic are learned well.

I hope.


To some degree there were higher risks through poorer hygiene practices of yesteryear.

One of the challenges is resistance for both bacteria and viruses. Some of these resistances have been created by humans through (over) use of chemicals and medicines.

One where our leaders actually listen to the experts who have been predicting all of this for decades.

I think anyone realises that a disease outbreak will occur from time to time. Unfortunately there are many unknown unknowns to know when and they type of infection which will cause an outbreak.

The current outbreak could have been say a mutation of a known current disease, rather than a coronavirus.

Trying to have specialist medical devices and treatments to cater for any possible outbreak would be near impossible…having high availability of basic controls and ability to ramp up production of key measures is possibly critical though.

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