The pandemic has reshaped family, consumer, corporate, and government behavior. And much of it in a good way.
Debt has turned into a curse word, and people are going to be more fiscally conservative, at least for the short term. More people will focus on paying off personal debt and avoiding any new debt. There will be more emphasis on moderate spending and conservative investments.
We will see new respect for first responders, service personnel, grocery workers and teachers. It’s interesting that the people who are essential to our well-being are the lowest paid workers. The highest paid people: actors, sports stars, musicians and media darlings are the ones who are least essential. Says something about our cultural priorities, doesn’t it?
Home-schooling may become more popular as parents see what is being taught and may believe that their children can learn much more and learn it better through homeschooling. On the other hand, many parents will develop a new respect and offer more support to the people who are teaching their children.
Faith life and church attendance will probably increase over the short term as people seek to deal with the effects of the pandemic, just as church attendance increased after 9 – 11. Hopefully people will find comfort, relevance and meaning in church and continue to be more faith filled in the long term.
The time spent at home, away from all the busyness of normal life may help people focus more on family life and less on the constant activity thrust upon us. Contentment is a learned virtue and hopefully people will continue to seek happiness in the simple things of life instead of seeking happiness, and satisfaction through consumerism and materialism.
Online activities will accelerate as people form new habits, such as having groceries delivered. Medical care has definitely changed with a greater emphasis on routine medical questions and appointments being done electronically. The ability to work from home will be encouraged. And online learning platforms will accelerate.
The business world as we know it will also undergo changes as shortages of crucial ingredients for drugs and medical supplies are testing the long-held merits of global diversification. Hopefully, there will be more cooperation and less conflict between businesses and society. Maybe this is an opportunity for businesses to focus more on their workers and less on the shareholders and huge salaries and bonuses for executives.
There has been a lot of media hysteria and trust in mainstream media will continue to wane.
There isn’t a crystal ball that allows us to look into the future and see all the ways our 2019 normal is no longer our normal in 2020 and beyond. One thing that will never change is that we have no control over tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 tells us, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
We can only take each day as it comes, be grateful for today and pray for the Lord to lead us into tomorrow.
Join us on the Compass Catholic podcast for more about how things are going to change (or not).