Beyond the Plague

Author: Gary Hart

Since many of us find ourselves with time on our hands, sadly, it might be interesting to solicit forecasting from our modest but erudite band.  When all of this is over and the plague has been banished, God willing, what will the world, or at least our part of the world, look like?  Will it be pretty much like the pre-plague world or will we have entered a new set of realities, through the looking glass as it were?

And as a gesture of affection for our international colleagues and friends, Elizabeth and Lorenzo, “our part of the world” must, of course, include our neighbor to the North and our close ally across the pond.

For purposes of discussion, let’s assume historic and traditional governing structures, business structures, economic formulas and institutions, and family lives will remain basically intact.  But, for purposes of speculation and imagination, even these foundations might be forced to adapt.

Let’s arbitrarily picked an end and beginning date of 1 January 2021, last plague death and no new infections.  What will that morning look like?  Will we stay in bed and pull the covers over our respective heads out of sheer exhaustion?  Or will we bound up, throw the curtains open, and greet the dawn out of sheer exhilaration at having survived?

Will badly damaged confidence in governments return, or will stored up anger at mismanagement cause new political parties to sprout?  Will millions of small lost businesses be restored, or will we enter a long period of recession and mass unemployment?  Will small towns and communities have disappeared and cities have become even larger and more unmanageable?

Does the dark cloud of recession and possibly even depression have a silver lining?  Will carbon footprints across the globe have shrunk and carbon emissions be reduced to manageable and sustainable levels?

How do you imagine democratic societies to have changed?  Have social patterns returned to pre-plague conditions?  Will friends greet each other with hugs and kisses as before?

How about a generation of children that has experienced the plague?  As adolescents and eventually young adults, will that generation forever be looking over its collective shoulders and fearing what might happen…again?

This list of question could lengthen, but you get the idea.  Twenty-twenty could be but a hiccup in human history.  Or it might be a turning point in human history, like a world war, the 1918 flu epidemic, the first atomic detonation, or a landing on the moon.

Perhaps not next New Year’s Day, but years from now, our current experience must cause thoughtful people to reassess priorities, think more seriously about life…and death, grieve for lost loved ones, strengthen (or possibly weaken) families.

Some will become philosophical about what society owes us and what we owe society.  Some will seek more wealth for the security it offers and others disdain it for the protections it could not provide.

Some might pop a cork or two and say, “dodged that bullet.”

Some might even think, Life is fragile and I’m wasting a lot of it, so let’s think seriously about service to others.

What does life after the plague mean for you?

 

 

2 Responses to “Beyond the Plague”

  1. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    It could be too soon to think about beyond the plague.

    Because I was laughing out loud through this whole piece. 🙂

    I may be too far gone already but, this piece should remain at the top and not be archived. It really all depends on what happens in November …

  2. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Speaking of which and on a more serious note, has anybody seen Biden … did Bernie drop out yet … will there be more primaries … should all voting be done by mail, now … will there even be a vote during the plague?

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