What stuff is going to be called "pre-COVID-19" in the future?

There are things, particularly related to air travel, that changed permanently after the attacks of September 11th. Behavior like greeting people with flowers as they get off a plane or visiting a cockpit during a flight are called “pre-9/11.”

I think this pandemic is going to leave a much bigger footprint on human culture than 9/11. What kind of things are going to go away? What will we say is “pre-Covid-19”?


Hopefully wet markets and live animal markets in China and other parts of the world will end. I think the world will pass a variety of laws preventing multiple animal species from being kept alive in confined spaces at meat markets.

Having fragile supply chains that break down in a pandemic. I’m guessing a lot more redundancy and decentralized supply chains in the future, rather than putting everything in China. Having most of our PPE, pharmaceuticals, etc come from one country is a bad idea.

I’m guessing the world will fund pandemic research far more in the future so we aren’t caught so off guard. I’m also guessing we will ramp up production of the machinery to make things like PPE, but it’ll sit idle most of the time.

I don’t think handshakes or public displays of affection will go away. I just think we will be quicker to abandon them the next time a virus goes around, then go back to normal when its under control.

As I said before, so much depends on if this ends with a bang or whimper. A bang would be a vaccine, and even if its 18 months, that would still feel like we won, we beat it. If it’s just wave after wave until herd immunity and mutation make it merely endemic, like flu, it will be really different.

Just like alcohol consumption ended when Prohibition passed?

No, alcohol consumption went underground as will probably wet markets and live animal markets if they are banned.

I think we’ll call it “BC” – for “Before COVID-19.”

Something I think may go away entirely is taking cruises. The industry had already gotten hit pretty hard by illness spreading and other incidents. (Remember that ship that for some reason lost its plumbing and passengers had to defecate in plastic bags?) My guess is the well-publicized instances of ships with sick/dead passengers having trouble finding a place that will let them dock, and the arduous quarantine suffered by passengers after docking will be the death knell for the industry.

Coronaviruses other than COVID-19 (such as rhinoviruses, SARS, and MERS), in the context of how contagious and lethal they were or weren’t.

Maybe snow days?

Thanks to the pandemic, many students and teachers are being forced to go online. Now that schools have some experience with online education, I’ve wondered if, in the future, once things get back to “normal,” school superintendents will be less likely to just cancel school altogether for bad weather, and more likely to declare “distance learning” days.

Prohibition had a lot of loopholes and law enforcement wasn’t nearly as competent as it is now.

More importantly, wet markets are gigantic and will be very hard to hide from law enforcement. You can’t have a giant wet market show up without the cops finding out. Especially when peopel realize that a wet market could give rise to a disease that wipes trillions of dollars in economic growth out of the global economy and kills millions.

Its not a good metaphor.

Also China may allow wet markets with much more strict hygiene and biohazard rules. Which will satiate the demand w/o using black market wet markets as much.

Article in Washington Post on related topic:

The virus shows that making our companies efficient also made our country weak, Roger Martin, Washington Post, March 27, 2020.

Well, here’s hoping democracy isn’t one of them.

I proposed in another thread “BCV”. I also mentioned seeing people on TV calling it “The Before Time”.

I think any economic or financial predictions made before March 2020 for after March 2020 will receive a “pre-COVID-19” tag.