Ben Ehrenreich on the economic pain Covid-19 will leave behind

Ben Ehrenreich on the economic pain Covid-19 will leave behind
Image: Peter van Agtmael, Magnum Photos
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It took a global pandemic and stay-at-home orders for 1.5 billion people worldwide, but something is finally occurring to us: The future we thought we expected may not be the one we get.

We know that things will change; how they’ll change is a mystery. To envision a future altered by coronavirus, Quartz asked dozens of experts for their best predictions on how the world will be different in five years.

Below is an answer from Ben Ehrenreich, a freelance journalist. His book Desert Notebooks: A Roadmap for the End of Time will be published in July 2020.

I don’t think it’s wise to make predictions, but one thing that seems fairly certain is that the economy will not recover quickly, if “recovery” means a return to a pre-Covid state, as unhealthy as that was. In just its first few weeks, the pandemic—and even the wealthiest governments’ failure to respond to it—made all the fault lines, injustices, and inequalities that define our societies impossible to ignore. Many millions have been thrown out of work. The economic pain is just beginning to be felt, as is the anger at the greed, cruelty, and incompetence of political and financial elites. The climate crisis, as it unrolls, will only exacerbate this. The rich will hide behind higher and higher walls. The rest of us will do our best to tear them down.

To read more New Normal answers, click here.