We are starting to hear talk from the White House and elsewhere about cautiously reopening the economy. In these conversations you are hearing the idea that we will return to normalcy.
However, some experts believe that the COVID-19 global pandemic will cause permanent changes in our lives, our psyches, and in the normal way that business is conducted in America and around the world. Will we ever go back to the way we were before the virus struck?
There are obvious changes, like companies having purchased the equipment that allows their staff to work from home. Many businesses large and small are overcoming their reluctance to allow their staff to work, at least part of the time, without having to make the commute into the office.
This could have a ripple effect in other areas. If staff can work from anywhere, companies might consider downsizing their offices, and instead provide desks that anyone who comes into work can plug into. Employees who escape brutal commutes might be more productive while enjoying more flexible hours. On the downside, commercial real estate owners would suffer lost rental income, and demand for commercial space would decline.
The importance of sick leave and health insurance (or greater access to effective healthcare) is something people who survived the coronavirus are not likely to forget. There could be a move to more universal healthcare, which would impact middlemen like pharmacies and insurers....