How life could be better (or worse) after Covid
The predictions of 57 scientists on the potential consequences, both positive and negative, of Covid
Three opportunities after Covid
How will Covid change our society?
The previous pandemics – we read in the in-depth article published by Mezzopieno News – have concise with changes in architecture and urban planning and with a greater focus on public health.
Yet the psychological and social effects of the Spanish flu, the worst epidemic of the 20th century, were subsequently perceived as less severe than expected, perhaps because they originated in the shadow of the WWI. You probably won’t even remember more recent epidemics like the Asian flu of 1957 or the Hong Kong flu of 1968.
Imagining and planning your future can be a powerful adaptation mechanism to gain a sense of control in the increasingly uncertain times of life during Covid. Over the past two years, several experts have announced that the world after Covid would be a completely different place, with changed values and a new map of international relations.
Mezzopieno News, in a series of interviews, invited scientists and futurologists to reflect on social and psychological changes, both positive and negative, that could occur after the pandemic and the kind of wisdom we need.
The results of this interview are surprising, both for the mutability and for the ambivalence in the forecasts of the experts.
2. Cambiamenti strutturali e politici
The projections of the experts range from better care for the elderly, to more critical thinking about misinformation, to a greater appreciation of nature. But the most common categories concerned social issues.
Experts predicted that the hardships and experiences we shared as a result of the pandemic could fuel solidarity and bring us closer to each other, both within our community and globally.
Similarly, sociologist Monika Ardelt of the University of Florida noted that: “These kinds of global events can only be resolved if we work together as a world community” .
The shared experience of Covid can help nurture a more global and inclusive identity capable of promoting international solidarity.
In the early moments of the pandemic, experts believed we could see proactive efforts and a social desire to introduce structural and political changes towards more just societies that are diverse and inclusive.
The philosopher Valerie Tiberius of the University of Minnesota has suggested that the pandemic could lead to “greater awareness of our vulnerability and mutual dependence”.
Ayse Uskul, cultural psychologist at the University of Kent in the UK shared this opinion and predicted that this awareness «will motivate us to fight more decisively the unequal distribution of resources and rights not only where we live, but on a global scale ».
3. Renewed social ties
The Covid pandemic has limited our ability to meet friends and family face-to-face, highlighting how vulnerable some members of our family were.
The founder and director of the Greater Good Science Center and professor at the University of California Berkeley, Dacher Keltner, has suggested that the pandemic could teach us how much « absolutely sacred are our best relationships “ and that the value of such relationships will be much higher in the post-pandemic world.
Similarly, Jennifer Lerner, a professor of decision making at Harvard University, argued that the pandemic has led people to “learn who their neighbors are, although they are not they knew before, because they found they needed them ».
Covid: the risks of the post-pandemic
And what about the predictions of the negative consequences of the pandemic?
The views gathered by Mezzopieno News are very varied, with more than half of the topics cited by less than 10% of respondents. Essentially there are two predictions mentioned by at least ten experts:
- potential political stability
- increase in prejudice and racism
1. Increase in prejudice and racism
Many experts have discussed how the conditions that occurred during the pandemic led to us concentrating within our circle, becoming more contemptuous of those outside.
Lisa Feldman Barrett, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Science and the Royal Society of Canada, noted how previous pandemics have seen «people entrench themselves more behind their beliefs than what is inside or outside a certain group» .
2. Political instability
Similarly, many experts interviewed by Mezzopieno News discussed how focusing more on our circle can exacerbate existing political divisions.
Former president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Paul Bloom, argued that a lesser consideration of those outside our circle was visible both internally that at an international level where «one country blames the other and we don’t work together enough» .
The yin and yang of the Covid effect
Nearly half of the experts interviewed by Mezzopieno News spontaneously mentioned that the same change can be a force for good or evil. For example, experts predicted that we may have greater acceptance of digital technologies at home and at work.
But aside from the benefits of all this – from flexibility in the work schedule to reduced commute / home – they also mentioned possible costs, such as the loss of social information in virtual communications and the disadvantages for people who do not. they can afford a high-speed connection or digital services.
In the midst of this complexity, experts called upon by Mezzopieno News have recommended knowledge that focuses on the meta- cognition , which emphasizes adequate regulation of emotions, mindfulness and a wiser judgment around complex social issues.
The good news is that these psychological strategies are malleable and trainable; One way we can cultivate wisdom and perspective, for example, is by adopting a third person point of view, as an observer, in our challenges.
In fact, despite some hopes for the future, it is equally possible that the change after the pandemic may not even be noticed. Not because the changes won’t happen but because people adapt quickly to their immediate circumstances.