In Finland, a national news company noted an interesting possibility. Coronavirus chaos may act as a black swan phenomenon that changes the future. Black swan phenomena are unexpected threats or events that may have drastic effects when they suddenly pop up. The spread of a new virus was not unexpected, but the strength of the global reaction was.
Local experts pictured three possible scenarios:
(1) No long-term effects, things return to business-as-usual after the chaos is over. This scenario is possible especially if the chaos does not last months.
(2) A step back in globalization and an eco-friendlier lifestyle. One expert guestimated that the way of living may change especially if the chaos lasts more than six months. After six months, many persons should have noted that life is easier if you don’t fly to distant countries so often, many local products may be even better than exported products, etc. If governments are willing to sacrifice economic growth to save lives now, the same may happen more easily in the case of climate change or other global threats. Even if the lifestyle of citizens would not change, companies are likely to change practices. Less traveling, more remote meetings and work. Changes in supply chains of components as companies are willing to pay slightly more to ensure the security of supply. More tolerance for inefficiency, for example by having larger stores of components to ensure uninterrupted production.
(3) A step towards state control and increasing discrimination. Many countries have restricted civil rights and closed borders to prevent the spread of the virus. Citizens have accepted this as a necessary action in an exceptional situation. The threshold of restricting civil rights may be lower after the authorities have noted that citizens accept such measures if these increase safety. Discrimination against strangers and marginalized people may deepen because these may spread diseases.
What do you think of these scenarios?