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(23,738 posts)
Thu Mar 19, 2020, 08:10 PM Mar 2020

Someday, when this is under control enough to call it 'over', what is 'normal' going to look like?

We can, and do, talk a lot about policies that we'd like to see, from health care to the economy and safety net, but it occurs to me that outside any particular political issue, there are certain things, both policies and technologies, that will probably just happen on their own, because a lot of people will want them.

All of this will have an impact on current jobs, if I'm accurate. Of course, an awful lot of those jobs will be gone by the time this is over too, so idk. This pandemic is going to change a lot of things.

Here's a few that I've been thinking about (and no rush...we have plenty of time to think about this right now...INDOORS...BY OURSELVES...*washes hands*) LO I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE:

1) Fully online university degrees have arrived. My own university employer, UW Madison, was just starting to offer a few degrees that could be earned entirely remotely. After this is over, we'll be so good at this that there will be no reason not to offer the entire catalog online, except maybe classes like fencing (though with VR...who knows).

2) Automated checkouts will look a lot more attractive. This occurred to me recently, and while I'm well aware of the negative aspects of them, they seem to have some really valuable public health benefits, by eliminating some major health vectors. Frankly, the idea of a fully robotic fast food station doesn't seem so crazy anymore.

3) Electric bicycles and personal transportation devices. For those who commute via mass transit, and have been avoiding it since the plague began, electric bikes (and other personal conveyances -- I commute on a Segway MiniPro 'hoverboard' sort of thing myself) are a godsend. You can avoid being compressed with a lot of other people in the petri dish that is mass transit, as well as avoiding the problems associated with cart -- like needing somewhere to put them when you're not using them. Someday, there will be JohnnyCabs, and they'll have a self-disinfecting cycle that runs after every passenger.

4) Delivery robots and drones. It seems like an obvious thing right now, and the technology is nearly there. At my university, a company started offering food delivery from the dining hall using these cute little autonomous robots, about the size of a large cooler on wheels. They cross in crosswalks, follow pedestrian traffic laws, and move among crowds of students on busy sidewalks. It's kind of an amazing thing to see everyday, when you realize what you're seeing. It's also kind of weird when they wheedle up next to you at a crosswalk, as you wait together at the light (I wish they talked...). You get your pizza, and nobody dies as a result. Win/win.

5) I think that mass mass-transit is going to have some real problems. People are being forcibly awakened to the dangers of disease transmission in a dense environment, and something will probably have to change to make it seem like a great idea to stand shoulder to shoulder with dozens of strangers on packed bus or subway car. Planes with personal compartments, like old fashioned trains? Fewer passengers, but they'll feel safer. This is a huge problem, because we need mass transit.

6) Medical perimeter sensors will become a thing. They're taking everyone's temperature before they are admitted to public spaces in South Korea. It won't be long before somebody sells a less intrusive infrared sensor that can spot someone with a fever in a crowd. AI will allow more and more medical diagnosis to be done 'en mass' by nothing more intrusive than a metal detector that you walk through. With facial recognition, what happens next will probably depend on the country it's happening in.

I suppose there are alternatives, like global civilization and trade devolving into something far less global, a sort of dark age. But I'm pretty sure that I will have plenty of time to find a leather jacket, a sawed off shotgun and colorful feathers to put in my mohawk if things go that way.

Anyway, those are my quarantine dreams at the moment, hoping as I do that there is enough to salvage after this present danger has passed.

How about you?

8 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Someday, when this is under control enough to call it 'over', what is 'normal' going to look like? (Original Post) htuttle Mar 2020 OP
Interesting, if somewhat horrifying. n/t Laelth Mar 2020 #1
Mighty angry eleny Mar 2020 #2
Please expand on those thoughts htuttle Mar 2020 #3
After today's snark from Trump people are going to spit nails over their slo-mo approach eleny Mar 2020 #8
And remote work related stuff htuttle Mar 2020 #4
By "when this is under control " I guess you mean the coronavirus. But nothing is ever going abqtommy Mar 2020 #5
I'm expecting the pandemic to outlast Trump htuttle Mar 2020 #6
That'd work for me but I wouldn't bet money on it... abqtommy Mar 2020 #7


(23,738 posts)
3. Please expand on those thoughts
Thu Mar 19, 2020, 08:25 PM
Mar 2020

Seriously not meaning to provoke -- at least nothing but your thoughts.

I've been binging the epidemiologist Twittersphere for days...had to take a break.


(46,166 posts)
8. After today's snark from Trump people are going to spit nails over their slo-mo approach
Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:23 AM
Mar 2020

People are probably going to look back and see unnecessary deaths because the administration knew long before the public did about how serious it was. They're going to view Sen. Barr's dumping of his stock to save his wallet instead of working to protect the people of this country as negligence.

It's against that backdrop that we'll rebuild - those of us that are here. Right ow it doesn't look good for a lot of us.

By the time I got to answer your question several new things came to light and we all got to digest the "not a shipping clerk" attitude of this administration.

Nuff said. Time to catch some shut eye before tomorrow's inevitable shot show. Nite!


(23,738 posts)
4. And remote work related stuff
Thu Mar 19, 2020, 10:04 PM
Mar 2020

After enough months, corporate America is going to realize that they don't really need to rent offices for us anymore.

Then they're probably going to make us start doing working remotely, since we won't have an office. Next step will be gig work?

Gonna stop. This is getting a bit dark...


(14,118 posts)
5. By "when this is under control " I guess you mean the coronavirus. But nothing is ever going
Thu Mar 19, 2020, 10:23 PM
Mar 2020

to be "normal" as long as tRUMP, reTHUGS, MAGATS, CULTISTS and sPUTIN are in positions of

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