How long until life returns to normal?

I don’t understand why this is tinfoil hat territory. It’s a plausible opinion, although I also think people have short term memory and it will go back to the way things are in a year or so.

I am worried to see this kind of gov spending and even expansion of power during this time like @KHHville

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We cannot predict what will happen. It is good to remain optimistic and focus on projects. I’m enjoying the time with kids. But @KHHville is right this was a seismic shift whose outcome is all new

Trump says it will all be sorted by Easter doesn’t he?

(Mind you, he didn’t say which year).


Exactly, this could be a trigger event for an industrial, economic, technological, governmental, way of life, or even human evolution. After which there is a new normal.

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Why isn’t there a “4-6 months” option in the poll?

Societies are always changing, but I think coronavirus will be in the rearview mirror soon enough. The internet news cycle will continue to grind itself relentlessly forward, and by summer we’ll all be obsessing - and equally distanced from - something else. Does that make me cynical? Probably.

If this happens it will be a shame. This crisis could be used as motivation for fixing the US healthcare system, changing how the WHO works, and attacking many other problems. But I doubt it will be. I’d love to see it happen, but I doubt it.


I’m not sure why this is in temp.

I chose “Never”, not because I think the current state of emergency is going to last forever (maybe a year, until vaccines are available?), but because the changes are going to be big, deep, and profound, in ways we can’t really anticipate - I guess 9/11, or the end of the Cold War, are the comparable events that many of us have already lived through.

I keep thinking of the show Counterpart, which partly takes place in a world twenty years after a disastrous plague. In that world, department stores are empty, health scanners are everywhere, and street life has disappeared.

I haven’t yet seen discussions of how the world recovered and changed after the 1918 flu pandemic, but they must be out there, and journalists are probably writing more as we speak. It was after all the “Roaring Twenties”, so maybe social life wasn’t that affected in the long run!

Ed Yong at the Atlantic has a long piece on different ways this may play out, with the last quarter or so, called “The Aftermath”, looking to the future. A few of sentences from that part quoted:

But “there is also the potential for a much better world after we get through this trauma,” says Richard Danzig of the Center for a New American Security. Already, communities are finding new ways of coming together, even as they must stay apart.

Pandemics can also catalyze social change.

Aspects of America’s identity may need rethinking after COVID-19.

After 9/11, the world focused on counterterrorism. After COVID-19, attention may shift to public health.

And the final two paragraphs:

One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19. Despite his many lapses, Trump’s approval rating has surged. Imagine that he succeeds in diverting blame for the crisis to China, casting it as the villain and America as the resilient hero. During the second term of his presidency, the U.S. turns further inward and pulls out of NATO and other international alliances, builds actual and figurative walls, and disinvests in other nations. As Gen C grows up, foreign plagues replace communists and terrorists as the new generational threat.

One could also envisage a future in which America learns a different lesson. A communal spirit, ironically born through social distancing, causes people to turn outward, to neighbors both foreign and domestic. The election of November 2020 becomes a repudiation of “America first” politics. The nation pivots, as it did after World War II, from isolationism to international cooperation. Buoyed by steady investments and an influx of the brightest minds, the health-care workforce surges. Gen C kids write school essays about growing up to be epidemiologists. Public health becomes the centerpiece of foreign policy. The U.S. leads a new global partnership focused on solving challenges like pandemics and climate change.


@DrewC do you mean normal for Taiwan or normal for the world in general?

I have little confidence America will turn outwards.

Already Americans are casting China as the villain, and despite American government incompetence, people still think Trump has all the answers. Americans have grown more xenophobic and generally fears each other. Just look at gun sales. Even the NRA has turned the pandemic to say “they’re coming for your guns”.

Either America will completely seal themselves off from the world, and some other players will manage world economy, or they’ll blame everything on China and basically try to go to war with them, screwing everyone. Americans basically think the rest of the world is trying to get them and will most likely either distance themselves from the world, or go to war with it. After all, prison and war is what they know best.

We been fucking this planet in the ass for a long time now. There is no normal anymore. Permanent dystopia.

On the plus side lots of good content coming out on Netflix.


Stereotyping sucks



Your commentary on the US is just so wacky.


I would, but I’m already calling you something else.

How so?

Outliers exist but I don’t see them campaigning hard enough to get the government or president to say or do otherwise.

Americans NEED better health system than what they have now, they’re not getting it because a majority of the Americans don’t want it bad enough.

Americans should be using this COVID-19 pandemic to convince the government (through ballots or calling their reps), that having a universal healthcare should be the priority to limit economic damage done by the pandemic, but from what I have seen they are unlike to do this.

American friends that I have who aren’t expats or even ever left the country basically tells me how much they hate China and wants to nuke them into the afterlife. Tell me I’m not stereotyping. Sure many Americans think blaming China is counterproductive and that reforms are necessary but I have little confidence that it’s forthcoming because they don’t know what it’s like to have a good healthcare system since they’re told there will be a death panel deciding who lives or dies.

Stereotypes are bad for judging individuals but for American society as a whole it’s accurate because that’s what drives votes, political decisions, or what the government prioritizes on.

Past behavior has indicated that Americans will grow more and more isolationist, then all of a sudden a foreign threat pops up and let’s go to war with them because that worked for them in the past. After all wasn’t it World War II that got America out of the great depression?

So tell me how are Americans, especially ones who don’t have an international mindset (that’s most of them) are going to look at their policymakers as the reason the pandemic was out of control, and instead deflect blame on some foreign power?

Are you confident that Americans will do the right thing, or just do the convenient thing?

I mean America is not some dictatorship where the crappy healthcare and incompetent government response is forced on them. It’s that way because Americans want it that way. If it was bad enough then Americans should rightly hold their government accountable and force them to be competent.


The right thing? You’re making a lot of assumption based on your own opinions on what you think is right.

In case you haven’t noticed about universal health care, Europe is Not exactly doing great once the system in under strain. Taiwan wouldn’t either. The difference is not even government response. It’s citizen awareness that separates Taiwan vs European national health care. No one in Taiwan needed the government to tell them how to react, people were ahead of the curve.

Do you honestly think your American friends literally want to nuke China, I remember you’re on the spectrum, so I’m going to assume you’re not picking up on them messing around. A lot of people are blaming China, as they should. What they did and what the WHO was reprehensible.

My biggest hope is that this supply chain Armageddon will push countries to develop systems that incentive local manufacturing. Hopefully we’ll all shy away from the current system of having companies manufacture stuff in the 3rd world/developing countries and then make money off it. If we could get rid of that, as well as of the:“we need to import the 3rd world to have an endless supply of minimum wage workers, and that’s a good thing!” meme then things will not just go back to normal, they’ll be better than before.
I think flight travels will recover soon. For tourism…no idea. My wife has always been a fan of travelling, every holiday or long weekend she always wanted to go abroad of have a trip somewhere, now she won’t even consider it, not even locally. It may be a bit excessive but she’s not the only one feeling like that. I guess we’ll have to wait for a vaccine or proper treatment, but then what will happen next year? Someone in Qingdao eating live sea snails that carry some unknown mutated form of gonorrhea that will become the chinese flying gonorrhea and we’re back at square one? Who knows.


Of course I don’t know what’ll happen, but decades of pushing just-in-time ultra-efficient companies may have led to a system that’s really, really fragile. (WTF is with all these massively profitable companies that only have enough cash on hand for a few weeks?!) The extra “flab” of resilience will hopefully make something of a comeback.


Then when I next travel, I’ll be looking for that sweet spot of coronachan being mostly gone, but the tourists still being mostly scared to come back.

It’s called JIT (just in time manufacturing), and it’s not cash (I doubt big companies keep much cash on hand, unless they’re handout payroll by cash).

Basically the idea is dedicate as little space to storage as possible and have everything that arrives consumed as soon as it arrives, so you maximize space for production/sales capability and not have wasted space for storage. It’s great on paper but from day 1 it’s clear that you need a flawless supply chain for it to even work.

I mean honestly evolution did not favor JIT because we get fat. The reason we get fat is because food supply isn’t 100% secure at all times so our body consumes more than we need in case we run into times when food supply doesn’t exist.

The truth is you do need storage space, what if supply chain breaks? What if because of a disaster food won’t get here for a while? Not having stuff on hand is dangerous for the company.

Maybe people will realize that having a government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub is NOT a good idea.

To combat pandemics and other threats to human existence and advancement, we need well-funded governments with competent, intelligent leaders who value science and facts, and who listen to experts. This is not what we have in the US right now.


Welp, America’s fucked. We’ll likely never have this.